Women's Golf Tied For Third After First Day of C-USA Championship; Haupt in First
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -
Freshman Valentina Haupt (Santiago, Chile) shot an opening-round 70 at the first day of the Conference USA Championship to hold the individual lead by one stroke and propel Southern Miss into a third-place tie, Monday, at the Verdanah Club in Ft. Myers, Fla.
Haupt, who has one tournament title to her credit this season by winning the Bobby Nichols Intercollegiate last month, finished second among the field with five birdies during her opening round and ranked first in par 4 hole scoring at one-under for the day. She also added 10 pars during the first 18 holes.
The Golden Eagles shot a team round of 300 at the par 72, 6,194-yard course, finding themselves just four strokes behind leader Middle Tennessee (296) and one stroke back of FIU (299). Southern Miss and Old Dominion both sit in third with their 300 score.
"It was a good day for us out there today," said first-year coach Erika Brennan. "All the credit goes to the girls. They stayed aggressive and I felt like our focus was better than it has been in some of our previous rounds. They really fought for it all the way to the finish.
"I am pleased to find ourselves in the position that we are in, but certainly know that it is going to take another two great rounds of golf for us. The girls are encouraged and I am encouraged. It is an incredible group of your ladies. They are very coachable and the kind of girls that you would want to go into any sort of battle with and that's exactly what we have got to do. We have to come out tomorrow and continue to battle."
Freshman Henriette Syr (Oslo, Norway) collected a 76 in her opening round as she tallied three birdies during her first 18 holes, while also ending the day tied with the best par 3 scoring at two-under par, to hold a 17th-place tie.
Juniors Kelly Erasmus (Capetown, South Africa), Emily Ross (Diamondhead, Miss.) and Devon Spriddle (Lethbridge, Alberta) each fired a 77 to hold a 26th-place tie following the first round. Spriddle led the 55-player field in par 5 scoring at one-under, while Ross tied for third in pars on the day with 13, and Erasmus added 12 par holes.
Following Southern Miss and ODU in the team scoring included WKU at 305, UTSA at 306, Florida Atlantic at 307, before Marshall (309), North Texas and UAB (312) and UTEP (324) rounded out the field.
Competition resumes Tuesday at 8 a.m. ET with split tees. Florida Atlantic and Marshall starts on hole 10 at 8 a.m., while play on hole one begins concurrently with Old Dominion, WKU and UTSA. North Texas, UAB and UTEP will go off from the back nine at 8:50 a.m. The top three teams, Middle Tennessee, FIU and Southern Miss, tee off on hole one at 8:50 a.m. as well.
The winning team of the 2016 C-USA Women's Golf Championship earns the league's automatic bid to the 2016 NCAA Women's Golf Championship Regionals.