Columbus, Ohio – Stetson junior Alexandria Buelow opened play in the NCAA Women's Golf Central Regional on Wednesday with an even par round of 72 on the Ohio State Scarlet Course.
The round leaves Buelow tied for fourth place in the event. The top two individual players not on teams that advance will advance to the NCAA Championship.
“I told Alex after her practice round on Wednesday that 72 would be a good score,” Hatters coach Floyd Kerr said. “The course is exceptionally tough. It is very tough from tee to green and, after you get on the greens it is even tougher.”
Buelow’s even par round featured three birdies (on holes 9, 13 and 14), three bogeys (on holes 7, 11 and 16) and 12 pars.
“She was solid all day,” Kerr said. “She never really got into trouble. She hit the ball well and putted well. She missed two four-foot birdie putts. She lagged putted very well from distance, and that is important on these greens.”
Buelow played one of the early tee times on Thursday and was partnered with Madeleine Sheils of Nebraska and Rika Park of Miami (Fla.). Sheils, who is ranked 58th nationally, also shot an even par round of 72 and joins Buelow with two other players tied for fourth. Park struggled to a 79 in the opening round.
Marina Alex of Vanderbilt, who is ranked 11th in the nation, leads the individual field after an opening round score of two-under par 70. Paula Reto of Purdue and Marina Salinas of Florida State are tied for second after opening round scores of 71.
“It was windy and cool today, especially early,” Kerr said. “It is supposed to be warmer and not as windy tomorrow. Alex will play in the afternoon, so she should get some better weather and calmer winds.”
Kerr said that if Buelow can post another 72 on Friday, she will be in the hunt on Saturday for one of the two individual openings in the NCAA Championship.
“The last day will be crazy because you won’t know how things will play out until late,” Kerr said. “If she plays two more solid rounds, she’ll be in good shape.”