May 21, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. - Vanderbilt freshman Jenny Hahn fired a one-under par, 71, in her opening round Tuesday and tied a Commodore program record for the lowest first round at an NCAA Championship to lead the Commodores at the 2013 edition at the UGA Golf Course in Athens. As a team, Vanderbilt has a first-round total of 11-over par, 299, which places them in tie for 15th place after day one.
"It was a great effort, and Jenny looked really good out there today," said Vanderbilt head coach Greg Allen. "She made a birdie coming in to finish her round. Lil' Reen (Irina Gabasa) was solid all day. This is a tough golf course for her because it's fairly long and it's a hilly course. Kendall and Stratty each shot 77, and it wasn't like they were hitting it everywhere. They had a lot of good looks for birdie and just didn't make it. Between the two of them, they only made one birdie. Usually, those two girls are making three or four birdies apiece every round.
"It's not the start we wanted, but there's a lot of golf to be played. We can't go out tomorrow and get it all back in one day. We've got to go out there and take care of Vanderbilt, hit good shots, and stay in the moment."
On a hot and humid day in Athens, Hahn had a steady round in her first championship, carding three birdies, two bogeys, and 13 pars on the par-72, 6,372-yard layout. Hahn's one-under, 71, ties for the Commodores' best opening round in the history of the program at the NCAA Championships, tying Anna Leigh Keith's one-under, 71, at the 2010 NCAA Championship in Wilmington, N.C. Keith was also a freshman.
Hahn is in a tie for sixth on the individual leader board.
"To be honest, I was a little nervous playing this week," said Hahn. "I hurt my rib about a week ago, so I wasn't expecting to play this great. I wasn't expecting a sub-par round. It was definitely nice to play well. I was steady all day and didn't make a lot of mistakes. It was pretty boring golf. Hit the fairway, hit the green, and two putt, and then a couple of birdies helped."
Sophomore(Irina Gabasa was next for the Commodores with a two-over par, 74. Gabasa struck the ball well throughout her round, especially early on. She posted three birdies and two bogeys on her front nine, but struggled to make putts on the back, bogeying her 11th, 13th, and 14th holes. However, the sophomore from Mandaue City, Philippines, was pleased with her first trip around the UGA Golf Course.
"For the first few holes, I was striping it," said Gabasa. "For five of my birdie putts in the first round, I think all of them were inside ten feet, and two were tap-ins. I felt really good going to the back. On the back, I had a few misses in my club choices and I didn't make the up and down, so that kind of hurt me. In the last four holes I managed to get back into it and make pars."
The Commodores' are in a tie for 15th position with Texas, UC Davis, and Florida, and trail Southern Cal and San Jose State, the co-leaders after the first round, by 15 shots heading into second round play on Wednesday. Both the Trojans and Spartans fired a four-under par, 284.
Hahn trails individual leader Regan De Guzman of San Jose State by four strokes, and second place Celine Bouilter of Duke and Stephanie Meadow of Alabama by two.
The second round for the Commodores begins with a 7:30 a.m. ET tee time off of number one on Wednesday.