Amira Alexander notched five birdies on Sunday.
March 30, 2014
STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. --- Georgia's Amira Alexander fired a 1-under 71 to grab the individual lead following the opening round of the 21st Annual John Kirk Intercollegiate on Sunday. Alexander posted the only red number among the 90 golfers in the field at Eagles Landing Country Club.
Four Bulldogs are competing as individuals in the Kirk Intercollegiate. In addition to Alexander, Mary Ellen Shuman is tied for ninth at 75, Sammi Lee is tied for 16th at 76 and Amelia Hill is tied for 57th at 82.
"I'm very happy for all of them," head coach Josh Brewer said. "It was fun today. There were excited to play, and they enjoyed themselves out there. It's golf. You're supposed to have fun. This is a great experience for them and hopefully something that will help our entire team in the future."
Alexander teed off from No. 10 and played the back half of the layout first. She was even through five holes following a par at No. 10, a bogey at No. 11, consecutive birdies at No. 12 and No. 13 and another bogey at No. 14. Two more birdies at No. 16 and No. 18 pushed Alexander to 2-under at her turn.
Alexander bogeyed No. 2 and birdied No. 3 and remained at 2-under after five straight pars before a bogey at No. 9 closed out her loop.
"Amira's round was not only big for her but big for our team," Brewer said. "We know going forward we have someone who can go under par and stay there and finish there. I'm happy for her. Amira has really been playing well and that should translate into the kind of scores she posted today. She made a statement today and over the next two days she has a chance to make a stronger statement not only for herself but for out team as we go forward."
The score was a collegiate best for Alexander, a sophomore from Alpharetta. Her previous low was a 1-over 73, established three times - in the second round of this year's Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate, in the second round of last year's SEC Championships and in the second round of last year's LSU Golf Classic.
Shuman and Lee also played the front side of the course well. Shuman turned at 3-over before covering her final nine holes at even par. Lee also was 3-over through nine and was 1-over thereafter.
The tournament will continue through Tuesday. Live scoring, updated on a three-hole basis, is available at golfstat.com.
Next weekend, Georgia will host the 42nd Annual Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic at the University of Georgia Golf Course. The event will alter its format this year to a combination of stroke play and match play. All 16 teams will play 18 holes on Friday, April 4. From those results, the top eight finishers will comprise a "Red" bracket and the remaining teams will be paired in a "Black" bracket. Two rounds of match play will be contested on Saturday followed by a single round on Sunday.
The alteration comes after the announcement last September that the 2015 NCAA Championships will move to a stroke play/match play format.
21st Annual John Kirk Intercollegiate
Eagles Landing Country Club
Par 72; 6164 Yards
Sunday's First-Round Standings
Amira Alexander, Georgia 71
Maria Palacios, Georgia State 72
Sofie Kvarnstrom, Arkansas-Little Rock 73
Kaew Preacmchuen, Kennesaw St. 73
Anne Kathrin Albrecht, Jacksonville St. 74
Fatima Fern Cano, Troy 74
Gemma Fuster, Old Dominion 74
Kaylin Yost, Campbell 74
Mary Ellen Shuman, Georgia 75
Kelsey Badmaev, Elon 75
Lauren Court, Georgia State 75
Maddie Denton, Middle Tennessee 75
Elizabeth Haycock, Old Dominion 75
Ines Lescudier, Kennesaw St. 75
Langley Vannoy, Troy 75
Additional Georgia Scores
T16. Sammi Lee, Georgia 76
T57. Amelia Hill, Georgia 82