Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll.
Arkansas struggles on first day
Arkansas' Emily Tubert hits from the fourth tee during the SEC Women's tournament at The Blessings Golf Course in Johnson on Saturday, April 21, 2012.
The No. 4 Arkansas women’s golf team staggered to an opening-round 21-over in windy conditions at the NCAA Central Regional on Thursday in Stillwater, Okla., to tie for 16th place. The Razorbacks have 36 holes remaining and must pass at least eight teams to be one of the eight teams from the regional to advance to the NCAA Championships.
No. 9 Alabama and California each shot 7-over to tie for the lead, while No. 21 Florida and Kent State were a shot back. Arkansas is seven shots back of eighth place, where No. 22 North Carolina and Mississippi State are tied at 14-over. No. 2 ranked UCLA, the top seed in the region, is tied for sixth at 11-over with Minnesota. host Oklahoma State is alone in fifth at 10-over.
The Razorbacks were devastated by the par 4 10th hole at Karsten Creek Golf Club, shooting a combined 11-over on the 429-yard hole, which played as the hardest hole on the day.
“Tee balls got us in a lot of trouble today, but I think it’s from being really aggressive instead of hitting into the fat part of the fairways,” Arkansas Coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said. “But it is what it is and we have a lot of hard work ahead of us in the last two days.”
Arkansas was led by freshman Summer Roachell of Conway, who shot a 3-over 75. Senior Emily Tubert, who carded a 7 on No. 10, scored 4-over. Sophomore Gaby Lopez was 5-over for the day, dragged down by a 6-over 10 on No. 10, where she lost three tee shots. Emma Lavy of Fayetteville and Regina Plasencia each shot 9 over 81.
The Razorbacks were not the only highly ranked team to struggle, as No. 15 LSU was also involved in the tie at 21-over, along with Kansas and Texas. No. 28 Miami is at 30 over.