The No. 3 Arizona State women’s golf team shot a 4-over-par 292 on Tuesday and is in second place after the first round of the NCAA Championships at the par-72, 6,203-yard Scarlet Golf Course in Columbus, Ohio.
The Sun Devils finished the day one stroke behind Southern California, which carded a 3-over 291 to lead the 24-team field. In third place was Florida (293), followed by Arizona in fourth place (296) and a two-way tie (Wake Forest and Duke) for fifth place (297).
“I was really pleased with how we played today,” said ASU coach Melissa Luellen. “I think any time you shoot even par or better on this course you have to play great golf. Still, we know that we have the ability to go under par.”
Freshman Jennifer Osborn led the Sun Devils on Tuesday with a 2-under 70 to finish the day in third place. For Osborn it marked the third consecutive round that she shot par or better going back to her last two rounds of the NCAA East Regional.
“I kept fighting and made some good putts throughout the day and our whole team really hung in there,” said Osborn. “We kept the momentum we established from the last two rounds (at the NCAA East Regional) and played really well.”
Other scores that contributed to ASU’s first round total included a pair of 1-over 73s by freshman Azahara Munoz and junior Tiffany Tavee, who are both tied for 10th place, and a 4-over 76 by senior Alissa Kuczka, who is tied for 46th place.
Also playing for ASU on Tuesday was junior Danelle Perata, who shot a 7-over 79. For Perata it marked the first time she was in ASU’s starting lineup this season after missing most of the season recovering from spinal fusion surgery she underwent last August. Perata missed all of the 2004-05 season with a back injury that caused her to undergo the surgery.
After shooting an eight-over 44 on the front nine on Tuesday, Perata rebounded with a one-under 35 on the final nine holes, including an eagle on the par-5 12th and a pair of birdies. “Danelle is an inspiration to have in our group,” said Luellen. “She has so much heart and was so determined to get back. That kind of passion is something you don’t see everyday. We believe that she will have a counting round this week.”
Leading the individual standings after the first round was Eileen Vargas of Pepperdine who shot a 4-under 68. Tiffany Chudy of Florida was in second place (69 followed by Osborn in third (70) and three are tied for fourth (71).
The NCAA Championships continue today through Friday. The Sun Devils will tee off with Georgia and Oklahoma State at 9:20 a.m., Arizona time), today, while tee times on Thursday and Friday will be determined by results.