Sept. 25, 2009
FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- The Southern California and Auburn women and the Arkansas State men lead after day one of the 2009 Mason Rudolph Championships at the Vanderbilt Legends Club.
The women are playing on the par-72, 6,271-yard layout of the North Course, while the men are on the par-71, 7,100-yard South.
Arkansas State totalled a 12-under 272 on Friday, scoring four rounds of two-under or better. The RedWolves lead South Carolina by two strokes. Georgia Tech and Ole Miss are one stroke behind the Gamecocks, with Notre Dame and Vanderbilt rounding out the men's top six. The host Commodores are eight shots off ASU's pace.
Individually, Jonathan Randolph of Ole Miss leads with a 7-under 64, three strokes free of a group of seven golfers at 4-under. Three Commodores are included in that group, as Hudson Johnson, Ryan Haselden and Ryan Thornton all shot 67 on Friday.
For the women, both Auburn and Southern California recorded scores of 10-under 272 to share a two-stroke advantage over Alabama and Arizona State. Duke and UCLA are fifth and sixth, respectively, ahead of three teams -- Georgia, Oklahoma State and homestanding Vanderbilt.
Auburn's Candace Schepperle and USC's Jennifer Song, the 2009 U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links champion, are tied for the women's individual lead at -6. Cydney Clanton, Schepperle's teammate, is one stroke back in third after carding a pair of eagles on Friday. Vanderbilt's Marina Alex stands in a four-way tie for fourth after an opening round 68.
Joining Alex's 4-under day on the VU's women's scorecard were even-par performances from Brooke Goodwin and Lauren Stratton and a one-over 71 from Megan Grehan.
"It was a good finish for Marina, Brooke and Lauren, and Megan Grehan played better than her score," Commodore Women's Head Coach Greg Allen said. "We're excited about our game right now and think we can be better for the rest of the weekend."
Alex carded five birdies on the day against only one bogey, finishing with two birdies on her final three holes.
"I got off to a slower start today and scrapped for the first 12 holes, but made some good putts to keep me in it," Alex said. "From 12 on, I started hitting the ball better and made some birdies down the stretch."
For the Commodore men, Johnson and Haselden's four-under 67's were combined with two-over performances by Chris Rockwell, Ben Klaus and Will Snipes. Playing as an unattached individual, Thornton sank four birdies in six holes to close his first collegiate nine before coming in at even for a 67.
"Our first three guys stumbled a bit early on, but hung on," VU Men's Head Coach Tom Shaw said. "I'm happy for Hudson and Ryan, but we need all of our guys to be under par to have a chance. Going under par is what we're used to in qualifying, so it can be done."
The 2009 Mason Rudolph Championships continue tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. CT with 18 holes before concluding with a final round on Sunday. On Saturday, the Vanderbilt men will tee off on the first hole at 8:50 a.m. with Ole Miss and Georgia Tech. The women will be grouped with Georgia and Oklahoma State.
Official tee times and updated live scoring of the entire event are available at http://golfstatresults.com