TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The 12th-ranked Commodore team got off to a fast start on Thursday at the NCAA East Regional as they set a new collegiate team record at the SouthWood Golf Course with an 11-under par, 277, and are atop the team leader board by three strokes over Tulane. Freshman Simin Feng and sophomore Jennifer Hahn are in a tie for third individually after each fired a four-under par, 68, in their opening round.Vanderbilt also counted a two-under, 70, from junior Irina Gabasa and a one-under par, 71, from freshman Antonia Scherer. Junior Kendall Martindale was one stroke back of Scherer at even-par 72.
The Commodores posted 19 birdies on Thursday and an eagle from both Feng and Gabasa on the par-5, 463-yard fourth. The first-round 277 was the third-best single-round team total in the history of the program and the second-lowest on a par-72 layout. Earlier this year, the Commodores shot a first-round 276 at the par-72, Central District Invitational.
The Commodores’ 277 was also seven strokes better than the 284 posted by Oklahoma on Feb. 16, 2013, and by Clemson on Feb. 16, 2014, at Florida State's annual tournament at SouthWood, the Florida State Match-Up.
"This team continues to impress me," Vanderbilt head coach Greg Allen said. "They are in such a good place mentally and look very relaxed and confident. [Thursday] was an incredible team effort. It's a golf course that is very scoreable and we certainly took advantage today. A lot of golf to be played the next two days and some very good teams capable of playing well. We just need to stick to the process and focus on the things we can control."
Vanderbilt holds a three-stroke lead on second-place Tulane, who is in the clubhouse with an eight-under, 280.
Individually, the Green Wave's Emily Penttila leads all players with a seven-under par 65. Penttila holds a two-stroke lead on Duke's Celine Boutier.
The East Regional continues on Friday at SouthWood, with the Commodores teeing off of the No. 1 tee with Pepperdine and UCF beginning at 1:11 ET.