KirkwoodGolf: NCAA Championship disrupted by lightning suspension

Saturday, May 23, 2015

NCAA Championship disrupted by lightning suspension

Leona Maguire starts with a one-under 71

BRADENTON, Florida – Coming off notching its sixth NCAA Championship a year ago in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the fourth-ranked Duke University women’s golf team jumped out to a four-stroke lead in the clubhouse at the 2015 NCAA Championship Friday by carding a five-over-par, 293, at the 6,468-yard, par 72 Concession Golf Club in Bradenton
Play was suspended due to lightning in the afternoon on two different occasions and at 7:15 p.m., it was suspended for the day with some teams having as many as nine holes remaining.
Stanford leads play with a three-over-par ledger on holes 11-14, while Duke (+5, 293), Baylor (+7 on holes 11-14), Southern California (+9, 297), Arizona (+12, 300), Northwestern (+13 on holes 11-14), Washington (+13, 301), Tennessee (+13, 301) and Alabama (+13 on holes 15-18) round out the top nine teams.
“They were really up against it today,” said Duke head coach Dan Brooks.  “I am real proud of my team.  They handled those greens very well.  We are playing a really challenging golf course.  The best players and the best thinkers will be the ones to come out on top.  We were really patient [today].”
Duke freshman Leona Maguire continued her solid play Friday by firing a one-under-par, 71, and is tied sixth overall.  A product of Cavan, Ireland, Maguire is only one shot behind individual leaders in the clubhouse – Gaby Lopez of Arkansas (70), Katelyn Dambaugh of South Carolina (70) and Annie Park of Southern California (70).
Stanford’s Maria Stackhouse is four-under-par through 12 holes to lead the action and Alabama’s Emma Talley is three-under through 15 holes.
“It is tough,” commented Maguire on the course.  “You have to drive the ball well.  I drove the ball well and kept it in play, except for one hole.  My irons were pretty solid today – 15 greens – so it helps.”
Opening with seven pars and five-foot birdies on No. 6 and No. 9, Maguire made the turn at two-under-par, 34, to kick off her morning.  After hitting her ball in the hazard on the 374-yard, par four 10th hole, she made her first bogey to drop back to one-under.  Maguire rolled in an eight-footer for birdie on the 503-yard, par five 13th to get back to two-under.  A bogey on No. 17 led to her finishing with a one-under-par, 71.  She hit a team-best 15 greens, 11 fairways and had 31 putts on the day.
“I didn’t really make a lot of bogeys and didn’t make a lot of birdies,” said Maguire on her round.  

“It was pretty steady, solid all day.  I only missed two greens on the front nine so it was pretty stress-free there.  I didn’t do a lot wrong.  I didn’t give myself a whole lot of chances and didn’t get into a lot of trouble.”
Duke's No2 player, Celine Boutier from France closed the day with a one-over-par, 73, and is tied 13th overall.  She hit all 14 fairways, 13 greens and rolled 33 putts.  She only missed two greens on the back nine (11 and 14) during her strong finish.
The first round for Lisa Maguire was a struggle most of the day as she continues to go through a swing change.  Maguire had two birdies on the day, but carded a round of 89 and is tied 131st overall.  She hit eight fairways, three greens and had a team-best 29 putts.  Maguire dealt with a neck injury for most of the back nine.
“It is a lot easier when you are not trying to play catch up after the first day,” said Leona Maguire about the team start on day one.  “I think it was a very strong start.  We will see what the scores are like in the afternoon, but it is definitely a good start.”