USC Leads NCAA Championships After First Day
May 23, 2006
The No. 5 USC women's golf team, led by junior Catalina Marin's 1-under and 1-over-performances by senior Irene Cho and sophomore Dewi-Claire Schreefel, finished the first day of the 2006 NCAA Women's Golf Championships with a one-stroke lead on Tuesday (May 23) at the Ohio State Scarlet Course in Columbus, Ohio.
USC, making its ninth consecutive NCAA Championship appearance in search of its second NCAA team title, finished the first day with a combined 291, tying for the third-lowest round in NCAA Championship play in school history (USC shot a 286 in 2004 and a 287 in 2005).
The 291 was good for a one-shot lead over Pac-10 rival Arizona State (292) and a two-shot edge over third-place Florida (293). USC's lead marked the second straight season Troy led after the first day of the NCAA Championships.
Said USC Coach Andrea Gaston: "We got off to a great start. We played patient golf and finished strong. It was nice to see the team carry the momentum from the regionals. We played with a lot of heart and hopefully we can keep it up. This is a marathon."
The Women of Troy, who qualified for the final 24-team field by winning the NCAA Central Regional, were paced by Marin's opening-round 1-under 71, which left her tied for fourth overall and tied her second-lowest round of the season. She was 1-under on the front nine and played even the rest of the way.
Cho, a two-time All-American seeking to become only USC's second player to earn the honor three times, recovered from a 3-over front nine to finish with a 73 (+1), tied for 10th with Schreefel. Cho birdied the 12th, 13th and 14th holes to return to even before finishing the round 1-over.
Schreefel, a 2005 All-American who topped USC's finishers with a tie for 10th at the 2005 NCAA Championships, was even after her first nine holes, which included two birdies.
Junior Veronica Felibert, who has been playing some of her best golf toward the end of the season, fired 1-under front nine en route to a 74 (+2) that featured a pair of birdies. She is tied for 21st. The round tied her second-lowest effort since March 7. Sophomore Paola Moreno turned in a 76 (+4), though she was only 1-over after nine holes.
USC, under 10th-year coach Andrea Gaston, won its first ever women's golf team title in 2003. Last season, USC finished tied for 11th at the NCAA Championships.
The four-day tournament continues through Friday (May 26). USC tees off at at 8 a.m. (CDT) on Wednesday, again with Tennesssee and Purdue.
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