Womens Golf in Fifth after Mercedes-Benz First Round
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Kent State women's golf team had a solid opening round at the Mercedes-Benz Women's Championship Friday, but a record-breaking day for the host University of Tennessee has the remainder of the field playing catch-up.
Kent State's Mercedes Germino (Necochea, Argentina) turned in the best round for the Golden Flashes on Friday, shooting a one-under 71. After going one-under on the back nine (Kent State's first nine holes), Germino registered pars on her last nine holes.
It took the Golden Flashes a few holes to start tallying birdies, but as KSU warmed up, their scores started dropping. Although the team was as low as ninth early on, the Flashes soon found themselves in a tie for second place midway through the round.
Martina Gavier (Cordoba, Argentina) was steady to start, converting pars on her first six holes before back-to-back birdies on 16 and 17 to give her a 34 on the back nine. She finished with a one-over 73, good for a tie for 12th place.
Shamira Marshall (Macedonia, Ohio) and Sarah Bradley (Cambridge, New Zealand) each turned in even-par front nines to wrap up their rounds on high notes, finishing two-over and four-over, respectively. Marshall is tied for 24th overall while Bradley is tied for 42nd.
"We played steady on a great golf course," said head coach Mike Morrow of the par-72 Holston Hills Golf Course. "Mercedes and Martina both had good rounds, and Shamira and Sarah recovered quickly from rough starts. That was the key to keeping us in the game."
Mandi Morrow (Kent, Ohio) wrapped up Kent State's team effort with an 11-over 83, as a triple-bogey seven on No. 9 hampered a strong finish. Erin Hawe (Walton, New Zealand), playing as an individual for the second-straight tournament, had a pair of birdies help her finish with a seven-over 79, giving her a tie for 62nd place and fifth-best among unattached golfers.
Tennessee took advantage of its home course, however, and was eight-under through 12 holes. The Lady Vols kept that pace and finished with an eight-under 280, besting the previous record for a team round of 281 set by LSU in 2008. Tennessee's Erica Popson carded a five-under 67 and leads the field.
Kent State will be paired with Notre Dame and TCU for Saturday's second round, starting off the first tee at 9:45 a.m.