NORMAL, Ill.---The top-seeded Vanderbilt Commodores are tied with second-seeded New Mexico for first place after Thursdays opening round of the NCAA Womens Central Regional. Both teams shot 298, 14 over par, to lead the 54-hole event.
Senior Sarah Jacobs led the No. 3 ranked Commodores with a 1-over-par 72 at Illinois States University Golf Course. Jacobs birdied the 15th and 16th holes to complete the back nine at even par following a steady front side. Arizonas Erica Blasberg and Kyla Neal of Texas A & M had 3-under 68s to grab the individual lead.
Southeastern Conference champion May Wood opened with a 1-under 35 on the front but struggled with three bogeys on the closing nine to finish at 2-over 73. The final nine also caused some problems for Courtney Wood and Kristen Svicarovich, who carded 76 and 77, respectively. Chris Brady completed the Commodore squad, shooting 80.
It was windy today and although the course is in excellent shape, there is some bite to it with these conditions, Vanderbilt head coach Martha Freitag noted. We played the front side well but perhaps gave a few shots away on the back.
Overall, Freitag was pleased with her teams first day effort.
During the first day of a tournament, you try to get a feel for the course, Freitag says. You want to make sure you dont shoot yourself out of contention early, and we are certainly positioned well at this point.
Freitag said Jacobs stayed patient and made some excellent up and downs on the back side. The SEC Coach of the Year called May Woods round solid all day but she never really got it going.
Vanderbilts team will have the late tee times tomorrow, starting between 1:20 and 2:00 p.m CT.
The tournament concludes Saturday. The top eight teams and two individuals not associated with one of the top eight squads advance to the NCAA Championships at Auburn, Ala., May 18-21.