May 20, 2009

OWINGS MILLS, Md.  ,,Ÿ  Upstart Denver placed three individuals among the top-15 finishers overall and held a two stroke lead over the field of 24 teams with a 6-over par 294 after the first round of the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championships, being played at Caves Valley Golf Course.

The tournament, being played on the par-72, 6,443-yard course, will continue on Wednesday, May 20 with the second round and runs through Friday, May 22. 

The Pioneers, who won the NCAA East Regional last week to advance to the Championship and are ranked No. 13 in the country in the latest Golfweek national poll, fired a 6-over par 294 and hold a two stroke lead over No. 2-ranked UCLA (8-over par 296). 

No. 12 North Carolina stands in third place at 11-over par 299, while No. 3 Southern California is fourth at 13-over par 301 and top-ranked Arizona State and 10th-ranked LSU are tied for fifth place at 14-over par 302.  Oklahoma State and Wake Forest are tied for seventh place at 15-over par 303, while Virginia and Alabama are tied for ninth place at 17-over par 305.

“Honestly, I feel about the same as I did yesterday,” Denver Head Coach Sammy Chergo said following the round.  “There are so many good teams here.  It’s almost like we’re the (Denver) Nuggets and we’ve played the first quarter, but there’s so much more golf to go.  There are so many good teams here, so many good teams.”
Denver junior Stephanie Sherlock and North Carolina freshman Catherine O’Donnell lead the field of 126 golfers after posting scores of 2-under par 70.  O’Donnell, who played in the morning round, had her score stand as the top in the field until Sherlock posted birdies on the 17th and 18th holes, respectively, to tie for the individual lead.

Four players are tied for third place at even-par 72, led by Central Florida senior Stephanie Connelly, an individual qualifier and native of Pasadena, Md., just 30 minutes from the golf course.  She was joined in the third place tie with Tennessee junior Ginny Brown, Wake Forest senior Nanette Hill and Southern California freshman Jennifer Song.

Sherlock was one of two players in the top-10 for Denver, joined by sophomore Ellie Givens, who is tied for seventh place at 1-over par 73.  Senior Katie Kempter is tied for 12th place at 2-over par 74 and senior Dawn Shockley, who won last week’s NCAA East Regional individual title, is tied for 50th place at 5-over par 77.

Team Scores – Par 288

1.  Denver (294, +6); 2.  UCLA (296, +8); 3.  North Carolina (299, +11); 4.  Southern California (301, +13); T5.  Arizona State (302, +14); T5.  LSU (302, +14); T7.  Oklahoma State (303, +15); T7.  Wake Forest (303, +15); T9.  Virginia (305, +17); T9. Alabama (305, +17); 11. Purdue (306, +18); T12.  Michigan State (307, +19); T12. Tennessee (307, +19); 14. Duke (308, +20); 15. Arizona (310, +22); 16.  New Mexico (311, +23); T17. Pepperdine (312, +24); T17. Tulane (312, +24); T19. Texas (314, +26); T19. TCU (314, +26); T21. Chattanooga (316, +28); T21. Georgia (316, +28); 23. UC-Irvine (320, +32); 24. Ohio State (323, +35).

Top 10 Individuals – Par 72

T1.  Catherine O’Donnell, North Carolina (70, -2); T1.  Stephanie Sherlock, Denver (70, -2); T3. Ginny Brown, Tennessee (72, even); T3.  Stephanie Connelly, Central Florida* (72, even); T3. Nannette Hill, Wake Forest (72, even); T3. Jennifer Song, Southern California (72, even); T7. Allie Bodemann, Wake Forest (73, +1); T7. Britney Choy, New Mexico (73, +1); T7. Ellie Givens, Dener (73, +1); T7. Stephanie Kono, UCLA (73, +1); T7. Lindsey Solberg (73, +1).