May 18, 2011
BRYAN, Texas --- A very good day turned into just a good day for Georgia's Marta Silva Zamora on the final hole of the opening round of the NCAA Women's Golf Championships on Wednesday.
Despite a double-bogey at No. 18, Silva Zamora, the nation's top-ranked golfer, fired a 1-under 71 at Texas A&M's Traditions Golf Club, her 20th par-or-better effort in 30 rounds during the 2010-11 season.
Silva Zamora is among a quartet of golfers tied for fifth after the first of four rounds. She is two shots off the pace of Virginia's Brittany Altomare. Caroline Powers of Michigan State, Michelle Shin or Wake Forest and Glory Yang of UCLA are tied for second at 70.
"I played really good, but that 18th hole...I just want to break something right now," Silza Zamora joked. "I did play pretty good, though. It wasn't easy. It was pretty windy."
Silva Zamora posted a trio of birdies at No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 to quickly move to 3-under. She narrowly missed another birdie putt at No. 6 before three-putting at No. 7 and dropping to 2-under.
Following six straight pars - including a nifty up-and-down at No. 13 - Silva Zamora notched another birdie at No. 14 when she converted a 15-foot putt from the fringe.
"She was 3-under through five and jumped out of the blocks," head coach Kelley Hester said. "She made a few good up-and-downs in the middle of her round and a later birdie to get back to 3-under. Four birdies, one bogey and unfortunately a double on the last hole."
At the par-5, No. 18, Silva Zamora was seemingly in good shape following her first two shots. However, nn errant wedge sailed over the green and even worse landed plugged near the back lip of a bunker. Her only play was to hit sideways and remain in the trap. Silva Zamora's fifth shot ended up 50 feet from the hole, and she two-putted from there.
"The wind swirled," Silva Zamora said of her third shot. "It was against me, but when I was about to hit it stopped. It happened to me on a couple of shots today, but this one was bad. When I hit it, I was like 'sit, sit, sit." I knew it was going to go but not that far."
Despite to troublesome finish, Hester believes Silva Zamora is in a solid spot.
"You can't win it on the first day but you can certainly lose it, that's how the saying goes," Hester said. "She put herself in position to have three more good rounds and if she does that, who knows."
Silva Zamora will tee off in the afternoon wave on Thursday, before playing in the morning in the third and final rounds on Friday and Saturday.
NCAA Women's Golf Championship
Traditions Golf Club in Bryan, Texas
Par 72; 6260 Yards
Wednesday's First-Round Morning Wave Results
Brittany Altomare, Virginia 69
Caroline Powers, Michigan State 70
Michelle Shin, Wake Forest 70
Glory Yang, UCLA 70
Marta Silva Zamora, Georgia 71
Numa Gulyanamitta, Purdue 71
Katie Burnett, South Carolina 71
Tiffany Lua, UCLA 71
Callie Nielson, Virginia 71
Marina Alex, Vanderbilt 72
Lindy Duncan, Duke 72
Anna Leigh Keith, Vanderbilt 72
Jessica Negron, Florida State 72
Mia Piccio, Florida 72
Natalie Sheary, Wake Forest 72
Andrea Watts, Florida 72
Michelle Edlin, Minnesota 72
Camille Lennarth, Alabama 72
Carlota Ciganda, Arizona State 72