Oct. 5, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. --- Paced a career-low 3-under 69 from Collins Bradshaw, the Georgia women's golf team carded an 8-over 296 in Friday's opening round of the 41st Annual Liz Murphey Fall Preview.
Bradshaw is a stroke off the individual lead held by UCLA's Erynne Lee, while the Bulldogs are tied for fifth with preseason No. 1 Alabama.
Most of the nation's top teams are in Athens competing at the University of Georgia Golf Course, which will host the 2013 NCAA Championships next May 21-24. Auburn shot 1-under 287 and owns a seven-shot edge over UCLA. Rounding out the top-10 are Southern Cal and Denver at 295, the Bulldogs and Tide at 296, North Carolina and Vanderbilt at 297, Virginia at 298 and Oklahoma and Texas A&M at 299.
Only 12 strokes separate second and 18th places on the team leaderboard.
In addition to Bradshaw's tally, Georgia also counted a 73 from Emilie Burger and a pair of 77s from Manuela Carbajo Re and Rocio Sanchez Lobato. The Dogs dropped Kailey Walsh's 78.
Overall, Burger is tied for 14th, Carbajo Re and Sanchez Lobato are tied for 54th and Walsh is tied for 72nd.
Bradshaw bogeyed No. 5 but birdied No. 9 to turn at even. She played the back side at 3-under with birdies at No. 11, No. 17 and No. 18.
"The birdie at No. 9, I needed it," Bradshaw said. "The bogey I made was a legitimate bogey. I couldn't get to the green in two and couldn't get up and down. After the birdie, I gave myself a chance at 10 but missed it. I had a good look at 11 and it went in, and that's really where I just knew. I told myself just stay patient and keep plugging instead of staying content with where I was at. I kept plugging away and continued to give myself chances."
The Bulldogs got off to a shaky start, playing the first five holes at 8-over before settling down and playing the remainder of the course at even-par.
"We played well after our slow start," head coach Josh Brewer said. "We got off to just a terrible start but bounced back. We kept ourselves in it, which is what we wanted to do. Thank goodness for Collins. It's first time she's broken par for us and she goes out and shoots 3-under 69 and is one shot off the lead. Now we're going to need to get some help from the back end of the lineup."
The Bulldogs will be paired with Alabama and Denver for Saturday's second round, teeing off from No. 1 in waves every 10 minutes from 8:50-9:30 a.m.
"We are right where we want to be after day one," Brewer said. "We'd like to move up a couple of spots tomorrow just to feel that lead group on Sunday and at least look people in the eye and have a chance. I'm proud of the team and now we need to just do it one more day."
No admission is charged for spectators to attend the tournament. Live scoring is updated on a three-hole basis on the internet here.
Liz Murphey Fall Preview
UGA Golf Course
Par 72, 6335 Yards
Friday's First-Round Standings
Southern Cal 295
North Carolina 297
Texas A&M 299
South Carolina 305
Erynne Lee, UCLA 68
Collins Bradshaw, Georgia 69
Tonje Daffinrud, Denver 69
Brittany Altomare, Virginia 70
Stephanie Meadow, Alabama 70
Hannah Collier, Alabama 71
Sophia Popov, Southern Cal 71
Paula Reto, Purdue 71
Diana Fernandez, Auburn 71
Marta Sanz, Auburn 71
Additional Georgia Scores
T14. Emilie Burger, Georgia 73
T55. Manuela Carbajo Re, Georgia 77
T55. Rocio Sanchez Lobato, Georgia 77
T72. Kailey Walsh, Georgia 78