Sanchez Lobato Opens NCAAs With A 74

May 22, 2012

FRANKLIN, Tenn. --- Georgia's Rocio Sanchez Lobato fired a 2-over 74 in the first round of the NCAA Women's Golf Championships at Vanderbilt Legends Club on Tuesday, leaving her tied for 34th individually.

"'Ro' was really solid today," head coach Kelley Hester said. "She only missed a couple of fairways and the bogeys she made were greens that she missed. She was just real consistent, putted well, her speed was great. Everything was right around the hole."

Sanchez Lobato teed off from No. 10 and played the back side of the course first. She turned at 3-over after recording bogeys at No. 12, No. 14 and No. 16. The freshman from Marbella, Spain, regained a stroke with a birdie at No. 1. Following six consecutive pars, Sanchez Lobato bogeyed No. 8 before bouncing back with a birdie at No. 9.

"My game was pretty consistent today," Sanchez Lobato said. "I played so-so on the first nine holes and shot 3-over, but then I came back pretty well and shot 1-under on the second nine. I'm pretty happy with my result today. I was hitting the ball better onto the greens (on the second nine) so I was able to make some birdies."

Hester said Sanchez Lobato accomplished one goal vital to remaining in the hunt.

"You have to avoid big numbers," Hester said. "'Ro' wasn't even close to a big number all day today."

Virginia's Portland Rosen, playing in the No. 5 spot for the Cavaliers, fired a 6-under 66 to grab the first-round individual lead. Rosen was the first player to tee off in the morning, began her day with an eagle-2 and notched five more birdies before turning at 7-under.

Rosen leads Purdue's Laura Gonzalez, who was runner-up at this spring's Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic, by a stroke.

No. 27 Virginia appeared to grab the team lead as well after originally posting a 5-under 283. Elizabeth Brightwell signed an incorrect scorecard, however, inking for an even-par 72 when she actually shot 73. Her effort was disqualified, but she will be eligible to play the remaining three rounds.

Instead, No. 2 Alabama leads the team field at 2-under 286, while the Cavaliers are second at 288.

Sanchez Lobato will play in the afternoon on Wednesday, teeing off at 12:45 from No. 1. Live scoring throughout the tournament can be found at www.golfstat.com.

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