Crystal River, Fla. - After Friday's opening round, the Stetson women's golf team sits in seventh place at 15 over par in a large 23-team field at the University of Cincinnati Spring Invitational. Sophomore Alexandria Buelow (Palm City, Fla.) is the top Hatter individual as her one over par 73 put her in a tie for sixth place out of 121 golfers at the Plantation Golf Resort.
Three other Hatters from the team contingent are in the top 35 after Round 1 as junior Lauren Cate (St. Augustine, Fla.) shot 76 and freshmen Sammi Smith (Louisville, Ky.) and Mallory Viera (Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.) each posted 77. Senior Alex Banham (Peterborough, England) rounded out the team with an 86. Competing as an individual, freshman Ryan Ashburn (Largo, Fla.) posted a solid 77. The rookie trio is tied for 33rd while Cate is tied for 22nd place individually.
Morehead State's Page Lausier fired a three under par 69 to take a one-stroke lead over Florida Southern's Emily Flanigan. Kelsey Kipp (North Texas) and Amy Anderson (North Dakota State) are tied for third at -1 with Flanigan's FSC teammate Marianne Andersson sitting fifth at even par. Buelow and Campbell's Maria Jose Benavides sit close behind at +1.
Morehead State used four scores of 74 or better to claim the early lead at two over par, five strokes up on Florida Southern. Campbell (+12), Elon (+13), North Texas (+13) and Marshall (+14) are all just narrowly ahead of the Hatters (+15). Mercer (+19), Houston Baptist (+22), Ohio (+22), Florida Atlantic (+24), Rutgers (+24), North Dakota State (+25), Oakland (+25), host Cincinnati (+27), UAB (+29), Seton Hall (+32), FGCU (+35), Seminole State College of Florida (+35), McNeese State (+36), Embry-Riddle (+38), Eckerd (+43) and St. Andrew's Presbyterian (no team score) complete the field.
The tournament continues tomorrow and concludes with the final round on Sunday.