CONOVER, N.C. -- Top-ranked Lynn carded a 294 on the par-71, 5928-yard course at Rock Barn Golf & Spa in the first round of the NCAA Division II Women’s Golf Championship on Wednesday afternoon to lead the field of 12 teams by three strokes. Jessica Bradley and Louise Manalo both shot a one-over par 72 to finish the round tied for third on the player leaderboard.
The Fighting Knights began the round on the 10th hole where Manalo shot one-under par through the first nine holes, including back-to-back birdies on holes No. 15 and 16. Bradley shot consistently through the opening round making par 15 times with two bogeys and an eagle.
Lynn was behind first place by as many as 10 strokes during the day and was in fifth place at the turn but a powerful front nine holes by the defending national champions put the Fighting Knights in the lead at the end of the day.“We showed a great deal of toughness today,” head coach Danny Randolph said. “I am proud of how each golfer played their last 10-12 holes and it shows the character of this team. We are looking forward to [Thursday].”
Samantha Smolen shot two-under par on the final nine holes with birdies on holes six and eight to finish the round with a three-over par 74. She sunk a four foot putt on the eighth hole that at first appeared to rim out but dropped in for her third birdie of the day. Irene Calvo and Ellen Chambers both turned in a 76 to finish the round five-over par.
The Blue & White holds a three stroke lead over Rollins who carded a 297. The Tars were led by Hally Leadbetter who shot an even par 71 and is in second place individually. Tarleton State (300) is in third place while Central Oklahoma (301) and Barry (305) round out the top-five schools. Tina Yang of California Baptist shot the lowest individual round of the day (70) and leads all golfers.