University of Arkansas sophomoreRegina Plasencia and senior Emily Tubert both carded two-under 69's leading theNo. 18 Razorback women's golf team to a first round 282 and second place at the17th Annual Mercedes-Benz Intercollegiate at Cherokee Country Clubin Knoxville, Tenn., Friday.
The duo are tied for thirdoverall helping Arkansas into second place, just three strokes behind day-oneleader South Carolina who is in the clubhouse with 279.
"We had a solid start today,"Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said. "Regina played so well andEmily had good start for us. I think Summar was the key for us today. Wehad to get one in the house in that fourth spot and she fought for every shotand it was the difference in our round. Emma would have liked to haveshot better but she'll bounce back. She is such a good leader for us."
Tubert, a Burbank, Calif., native, turned one-under with a pair ofbirdies on four and seven. She had three bogeys in the round but threebirdies on the back nine on holes 11, 15 and 16 kept the three-timeAll-American under par for the day.
Plasencia, who was Arkansas' top finisher a week ago, wastwo-under on the front nine with birdies on the first, fifth and eighth holesand a bogey on the fourth hole. She played the back nine even and is tiedwith Tubert with a 69. It is her third below-par round in the four-roundseason.
Freshman Summar Roachell, in just her second collegiate event,finished the day one-over with a 72. The Conway, Ark., native is tied for19th overall. Roachell was four-over on the front nine but rallied to finishstrong playing the back at three-under.
Roachell turned and picked up back-to-back birdies on the 10thand 11 holes. She gave a stroke back with a bogey on the 13thbut birdied the 15th and 18th holes to finish up.
Sophomore Gabriela Lopez counted a one-over 72 in the first round.The Mexico City, Mexico, native was plus-one at the turn after a double trippedher up on the second hole. She played the back side even for the strongfinish. She is also tied for 19th overall
Senior and Fayetteville, Ark., native Emma Lavy rounds out theArkansas scores. Lavy posted a seven-over 78 in the first round and istied for 80th overall. Sister and redshirt freshman Olivia Lavy isplaying as an individual in her first collegiate event. The younger Lavycarded an 80 and is tied for 87th overall.
"Olivia birdied her first hole of college golf and that's not aneasy thing to do," Estes-Taylor said. "This experience is so valuable andwill make her better.
"It was a team effort and we played team golf today," shecontinued. "The weather will be muddy but these are conditions welike. We are going to focus on one shot at a time and move upleaderboard. We had good balance today and that's what I'm lookingfor. That is the ingredient for a great team and great to see that fromthis team. They are so much fun to be around and they are fun to leadaround golf course."
South Carolina, ranked sixth in this week's Golfstat.com poll,leads the field with a 279, followed by No. 18 Arkansas with 282, No. 13Louisville with 283, No. 21 Tennessee with 285 and No. 34 UCF with 286 roundingout the top five. The rest of the field includes No. 35 Tulane with 290,No. 44 Penn State and No. 69 Chattanooga with 292, No.8 Mississippi State with293, No. 41 Ole Miss with 294, Michigan with 296, No. 14 Campbell, No. 60 NotreDame and Rollins College tied with 298, No. 81 UTSA and No. 62 Missouri tiedwith 299 and No. 4 College of Charleston with 301.
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