DeLand, Fla. - Sophomore Alexandria Buelow (Palm City, Fla.) shot a one under par 71 in the first round of the Atlantic Sun Conference Women's Golf Championships on Monday, putting herself in a tie for second and helping her Stetson Hatters claim a share of third place with 18 holes in the books. Two-time defending conference champion Stetson is 10 over par, four strokes behind leader Kennesaw State.
Buelow finished birdie-birdie at the home course of the Hatters, Victoria Hills Golf Club, to cap off her 71. Stetson rebounded from a shaky start (nine over par in the early going) to only give one more stroke back to par the rest of the day. Freshman Mallory Viera (Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.) shot 74 in her first career postseason round while fellow freshman Ryan Ashburn (Largo, Fla.) posted a 76 and junior Lauren Cate (St. Augustine, Fla.) carded a 77. Freshman Sammi Smith (Louisville, Ky.) rounded out the team with an 80. Viera is tied for eighth place at two over par with Ashburn (T-18) and Cate (T-22) in the top half of the field as well.
Mercer's Kimberly Graff claimed the 18-hole individual lead with a two under par 70, one shot better than Buelow, Campbell's Michelle Koh and Ket Preamchuen of Kennesaw State. Viera herself is only four strokes off the pace and is second only to USC Upstate's Amanda Hall (+1) among freshmen in the field.
Kennesaw State carded a six over par 294 team score to take a two-stroke lead over Campbell heading into tomorrow's second round. Stetson and ETSU are tied for third at 10 over par with Mercer (+12), FGCU (+18), Jacksonville (+26), Belmont (+27), USC Upstate (+41) and Lipscomb (+46) following behind.
The second round begins tomorrow at 8 a.m.; Stetson will go off in the third wave with FGCU and Mercer for the second straight round. Live Scoring is available at http://www.golfstatresults.com/public/index.cfm?tournament_id=2211
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