CHAPEL HILL, N.C.- The University of North Carolina women's golf team fired a 9-over-par 297 to tie for ninth place in the opening round of the Ruth's Chris Tar Heel Invitational Friday at UNC Finley Golf Course. Senior Katherine Perry led the Tar Heels by firing an even par 72 and is tied for 16th place in the individual race.
"Well overall I thought for the most part the girls played well," North Carolina head coach Jan Mann said. "If you look at how we finished, we didn't finish well. We just need to finish stronger."
Perry, from Cary, N.C., carded four birdies, two bogeys and one double bogey. Elizabeth Mallett, a sophomore from Sutton Coldfield, England, recorded a 2-over-par 74 and is tied for 36th. Mallet had the most birdies on the team with five, but also had four bogeys and one triple bogey. Samantha Marks finished one stroke behind Mallet at 3-over-par 75. Marks, a sophomore from Maitland, Fla., had one birdie with four bogeys and is tied for 42nd. Senior Jackie Chang registered a 4-over-par 76 and is tied for 55th. Chang, a native of Scottsdale, Ariz., had one birdie, three bogeys, and one double bogey. Maia Schechter, from Takoma Park, Md., finished the first round in 72nd place with a 6-over-par 78. Schechter, a junior, had one birdie and seven bogeys.
"I feel like our team can make tons of birdies," Coach Mann said. "So I'm confident over the next two days that we'll perform well. It's always tough to not start real strong, but we're fighters so they'll come through."
Leslie Cloots played as an individual in the tournament and shot a 4-over 76 in round one. Cloots, a freshman from Antwerp, Belgium, had a consistent round with just four bogeys and the rest pars and is tied for 55th place.
Antonia Scherer of Vanderbilt fired a 5-under 67 to lead after the first round of play. Clemson's Ashlan Ramsey shot a 4-uner 68 to earn second place. Duke's Laetitia Beck and Mississippi's Alison Hovatter are tied for third at 3-under 69. In a five-way tie for fifth place at 2-under-par sit South Carolina's Justine Dreher, Vanderbilt's Kendall Martindale, Virginia's Portland Rosen, Arkansas's Gaby Lopez, and Florida's Karolina Vickova.
Vanderbilt leads the 18-team pack after the first round. The Commodores fired a 3-under 285. Duke is one stroke behind at 2-under-par 286. Auburn is in third place after a 3-over 291 first round performance. Tied for fourth at 4-over-par are Mississippi and Oklahoma. In sixth place is NC State at 5-over-par.
"I'm really proud of them," Vanderbilt head coach Greg Allen said. "We got off to a great start. I think we were at 7-under with three or four left to play. Led by freshman Antonia Scherer who had a lot of kick-in birdies today. I think she left a few out there too. That's how impressive her round was today. Ball striking was phenomenal. If you hit the ball well here the greens are always so good, you are going to have some birdie opportunities. We were fortunate to make a lot early on, and we just made a few bogeys coming in.
"It's a great field so there's a lot of work left. We just have to stay focused on what we're doing."The Ruth's Chris Tar Heel Invitational will continue Saturday, Oct. 12, at UNC Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill. The second round will begin at 9:09 a.m. off the 1st and at 8:51 off the 10th on the par 72, 6,379-yard layout. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend. Live scoring is also available on GoHeels.com.