May 10, 2012
Day 1 Leaderboard | NCAA Championships Coming to Franklin
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Two-time Southeastern Conference Player of the Year Marina Alex fired a sparkling two-under par to seize the individual lead and Vanderbilt found itself in a three-way tie for eighth at the Central Regional of the NCAA Women's Golf Championship.
Alex cruised around Ohio State's Scarlet Course with three birdies, two on her front nine, against a lone bogey for a remarkably consistent scorecard.
"Marina looked really good out there, very comfortable," Coach Greg Allen said. "I don't think she was pleased with her driver but her iron play was excellent and she made her birdie opportunities count."
The Commodores are just four strokes out of fourth place after shooting 20-over on the windy day. They are tied with Oregon and Virginia and trail first-place Southern Cal by 10 shots. Georgia was second, one off USC's pace.
"It was not the day I expected going into the tournament," Allen admitted. "I felt very comfortable but the conditions were difficult and it was a day when the golfer had to have full control of her shot or there would be a price to pay.
"We assumed all along that the tournament will come down to the last few holes on Saturday and we are right there," Allen continued. "Tomorrow we expect to play like we know how, giving ourselves birdie opportunities. The forecast is for calm winds and sunny skies so it should be an ideal day to score."
First-team All-Southeastern Conference golfer Lauren Stratton helped the Commodore cause with a 75, three-over par, while freshman Kendall Martindale added an 80, Rene Sobolewski shot 81 and Anna Leigh Keith had a tough day at 86.
Vanderbilt is scheduled to tee off Friday starting at 12:26 p.m. The Central Regional will conclude Saturday with the top eight teams advancing to the NCAA Championships May 22-25 at Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin.
Complete leaderboards are found on golfstat.com.