French Leads The Way In Opening Round Of NCAA West Regional
May 10, 2012
ERIE, Colo. - Senior Whitney French shot a team-best 3-over 75 and moved into second on Oregon State's list for career rounds played, but the rest of the team struggled on a tough golf course on Thursday to put the Beavers in 22nd place after the opening round of the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Golf West Regional in Erie, Colo.
Playing in the afternoon wave at the par-72, 6,575-yard Colorado National Golf Club, Oregon State started on the 10th hole and made the turn at 10-over. But the Beavers were 15-over on the final nine holes to finish the first round of the three-day, 54-hole tournament with a 25-over 313.
"Another unexplainable round today," Oregon State head coach Risë Alexander said. "We prepared well for today. My thoughts are that they did not commit to their game plans and trust their choices. We emphasize this continually but sometimes you just have to experience the pressure of this situation before you realize how much commitment and trust it requires.
"We will regroup, evaluate the strategies and ask our players to commit to them with intention and trust," Alexander added. "They have to choose to do that and follow through with it. Right now they have to go out and prove to themselves what they can do. We know they have the talent."
The bad news is that the Beavers need to finish in the top eight in the 24-team field to advance to NCAA Championships May 22-25 at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn. The good news is that they have two more days, and 36 holes, to move up the leader board and get there.
French proved experience and patience were important on such a big stage as she didn't record a double-bogey or worse on Thursday. She was 5-over through 14 holes, but never panicked, and had back-to-back birdies on the par-4 sixth and par-5 seventh holes to finish in a tie for 42nd place with a 3-over 75.
The Laguna Niguel, Calif., native has now played 127 rounds in her four years at Oregon State to move past Julianna Uhrik (126, 2005-08) and trail only Kathleen Takaishi (130, 1995-99) by three rounds for the most by a Beaver in school history.
Sophomore Lauren Sewell was solid in the opening round with a pair of birdies, but took a triple-bogey, a double-bogey and two bogeys to finish with a 5-over 77. Her tweets came on the par-4 eighth and par-5 12th holes to put her in a tie for 70th place heading into Friday's second round.
Junior Rachael Fischer shot the best opening nine on the team, making the turn with a 1-over 37 after birdies on the par-4 13th and par-4 17th holes to go with three bogeys. But she had seven consecutive bogeys between the second and eighth holes before finishing the day on a positive note with a birdie on the par-3 ninth hole to finish with a 7-over 79.
Telles surprisingly had only one birdie, on the par-4 17th hole, to go with three double-bogeys and five single-bogeys to finish with a 10-over 82. The current Oregon State leader in career scoring average at 76.10 through her first two years has responded well all season after a tough opening round.
Yoo, who entered the tournament with a team-best 76.03 scoring average, had one of the most interesting scorecards in the tournament. She didn't have a par in her first nine holes and had only four total on the day. The freshman must have felt the nerves of postseason with 11 bogeys, one double-bogey and two birdies to finish with an 11-over 83.
Oregon State will be among the first groups going out Friday with tee times beginning at 6:30 a.m. PT (7:30 a.m. local time) with Yoo (6:30 a.m. PT), Telles (6:41 a.m. PT), Fischer (6:52 a.m. PT), Sewell (7:03 a.m. PT) and French (7:14 a.m. PT) going out in that order. The Beavers will start on the first hole and be paired with UNLV and New Mexico.
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