May 10, 2012
ERIE, Colo. - After 18 holes of the NCAA West Regional Championships, JoJo Robertson could only remain optimistic.
Backed by an even-par 72 from Gabby Dominguez, the Lady Raiders wrapped the opening round at the Colorado National Golf Club in a tie for 10th after a 12-over 300 card Thursday morning.
"I think our players came out and did what they meant to do today," Robertson said. "The positive thing is they know they left some shots out there which they can pick up on tomorrow. This tournament is all about staying patient and knowing that it's three rounds of golf, three full days, and staying close."
With Dominguez and fellow junior Kim Kaufman shooting at or just above even par, the Lady Raiders and Baylor finished three strokes back of host Colorado, Pepperdine, and Tulsa in seventh place. Tech will need to finish in the top eight over the final two days to advance to only the school's second NCAA Championships appearance.
"The positive thing is they know they left some shots out there which they can pick up on tomorrow. This tournament is all about staying patient and knowing that it's three rounds of golf, three full days, and staying close."
Kaufman, meanwhile, finished a stroke back of Dominguez in a tie for 18th after spending most of the round at even-par before a bogey on the par-5 seventh left her 1-over on the day.
"Gabby and Kim came out ready to play today and it was fun to watch," Robertson said. "Gabby was 1-under for quite a while and slipped up on her 17th hole but came right back and almost holed it on the 18th. Kim was the same way with a late bogey, but they both played really well.
Elin Arvidsson, who was playing in place of an injured Beverly Mendoza, recorded Tech's next-lowest score with a 5-over 77. Hannah Arnold and Deborah DeVilla trailed the freshman by a stroke to complete the Lady Raiders' card.
Stanford took the opening-round lead over the 24-team field as the Cardinal were 1-under as a team thanks to a tournament-best 5-under score from Sydney Burlison. North Carolina trails Stanford one stroke back in second place while defending national champion UCLA wrapped the day 2-over in third place.
LSU, Illinois, and California completed the top five as the Tigers were 3-over in fourth place while the Illini and Golden Bears were tied for fifth overall at 8-over.
After being the first group on the course Thursday, Tech will not begin Friday's second round until early in the afternoon as Arnold will be the first Lady Raider on the course with an 12:50 p.m. CT tee time.