ATHENS, GA.- The North Carolina women's golf team is tied for seventh place after the first round of the Liz Murphey Fall Preview. The Tar Heels fired a 9-over-par 297 on Friday at the University of Georgia Golf Course. A pair of juniors, Casey Grice and Jackie Chang, led the Tar Heels as both fired a 1-over 73 in the first round.
"Obviously, this is a very strong field so it was important for us to get off to a solid start and I feel like we did," says Tar Heel head coach Jan Mann. "We played pretty well. There are some areas we can improve upon, but overall we're very much in it and we feel good about that."
Grice, from College Station, Texas, fired two birdies, including one on her finishing hole (#9), along with three bogeys and is tied for 14th place in the individual race. Also tied for 14th is Chang, from Paradise Valley, Ariz., who carded three birdies and four bogeys. All of Chang's birdies came on her back nine and she also birdied her final hole (#9). Another junior, Katherine Perry, is just one stroke behind those two at 2-over 74. Perry, from Cary, N.C., is tied for 26th place after scoring two birdies and four bogeys. Sophomore Maia Schechter, from Takoma Park, Md., and freshman Elizabeth Mallett, from Sutton Coldfield, England, both carded a 5-over 77 and are tied for 54th place.
Auburn leads the field of 18 teams by firing a 1-under 287 in the first round. The Tigers hold a seven stroke lead over UCLA which fired a 6-over 294. Southern California and Denver are tied for third place at 7-over 295 while host Georgia and Alabama are tied for fifth place at 8-over 296 and Carolina and Vanderbilt are tied for seventh at 9-over 297. Rounding out the top 10 are Virginia in ninth place at 10-over 298 and Oklahoma and Texas A&M tied for 10th at 299.
Erynne Lee of UCLA grabbed the individual lead by firing a 4-under-par 68. Collins Bradshaw of Georgia and Tonje Daffinrud of Denver are one stroke back in a tie for second place at 3-under 69. Virginia's Brittany Altomare and Alabama's Stephanie Meadow are tied for fourth place at 2-under 70 while five players are tied for sixth place at 1-under 71 - Auburn's Diana Fernandez and Marta Sanz, Alabama's Hannah Collier, Southern Cal's Sophia Popov and Purdue's Paula Reto.
The 54-hole event continues through Sunday at the University of Georgia Golf Course which features a par 72, 6,335-yard layout and is the site of the 2013 NCAA Championships. Live scoring is available on Golfstat.com.