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Grayhawk bears its teeth, top-ranked player leads, top-ranked team is last


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — A tricky desert course was made more durable for the NCAAs. Add in a wholesome dose of afternoon wind and Grayhawk Golf Club performed like a beast on Friday within the opening spherical of the ladies’s nationwide championship.

Most of the groups close to the highest of the leaderboard after Day 1 have been those that performed within the calmer morning situations. Texas, which leads at 1 over, was amongst those that teed off at 6:30 a.m. native time. Oregon additionally began at 6:30 a.m. and posted a +2 spherical.

On the person leaderboard, Rachel Heck, ranked No. 1 within the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings and contemporary off medalist honors on the Pac-12 championships, shot the spherical of the day with a 3-under 69, the one player to interrupt 70 and one in every of solely 4 golfers to interrupt par. She did that within the robust afternoon wind and with a thick, black brace on her proper ankle.

“It was really dumb. I hurt my ankle playing basketball,” Heck stated after her spherical. “But it’s fine. It was actually over Christmas, but yea, it’s fine. Just a bad sprain.”

It’s Heck’s eleventh straight spherical within the 60s.

Thunderbird alums dot area

Kaitlyn Papp is second after capturing a 2-under 70. Oregon’s Briana Chacon sits in a tie for third at 1 underneath. Like Heck, Papp and Chacon and plenty of others within the area are acquainted with Grayhawk having performed it a couple of occasions as juniors. The Raptor Course is house to the AJGA Thunderbird, one of many elite junior golf occasions yearly which frequently attracts a global area.

“I think it plays very similar to the AJGA Thunderbird as far as the firm greens and it has a tendency to get windy out here,” stated Papp, “It’s always hot, it’s desert golf. Brings back memories.”

“I know a lot of girls here played it,” stated Heck. “It’s really cool to be back, we’re all in college now. It’s kind of nostalgic being back.”

Deep gap

South Carolina, the top-ranked team in girls’s golf by Golfweek/Sagarin, appears to love to flirt with bother.

The Gamecocks solely escaped regionals by outlasting Arkansas in a playoff. Now, they discover themselves useless last within the area of 24 after capturing 24 over. Paula Kirner had a 72 to guide South Carolina however Ana Pelaez shot a 76, Pauline Roussin-Bouchard shot an 81 whereas Mathilde Claisse had an 83.

Campus inspiration

The Arizona Wildcats shot 4 over to open their week and head coach Laura Ianello has her squad in a great place after 18 holes, tied with Duke, Kent State and Wake Forest.

The Wildcats, whose campus is about 130 miles to the south, aren’t that acquainted with Grayhawk.

“The first time we played it was April 29th, the day before the last day we could play. In the three weeks since we were here, it has changed tremendously,” she stated, noting the thicker tough and slicker greens.

Ianello additionally stated her Wildcats have been impressed by the latest run of the Arizona girls’s basketball team, led by head coach Adia Barnes, which misplaced by one level to Stanford within the nationwide title sport, whereas energizing sports activities followers in Tucson alongside the best way.

“Oh yea. Adia, her women’s team coming through COVID, with what they’ve gone through, the adversity this year and making it to the finals and of course, sadly, losing to Stanford,” Ianello stated. “It was just so motivational for my team and my ladies. They’re good friends with a lot of the basketball players and they’re all so happy that they’re competing and so why not just compete for the championship.”

Home-team jitters

“I think my team felt that a little bit today,” ASU head coach Missy Farr-Kaye stated when requested if her gamers felt any further stress being the host. “We had a lot of people on the first tee. We’re not used to that, and we had a lot of fans out, which is awesome. I think there’s a little bit of adjusting to that and being in the limelight with that.

“I keep telling them embrace it. Embrace that energy and that vibe of being home and seeing what we can do with it.”

The Sun Devils are going to must do one thing with it beginning Friday, as they’re in thirteenth place at 12 over, 4 photographs out of one of many coveted prime eight spots.

“You have to grind,” stated ASU fifth-year senior Olivia Mehaffey. “You have to fight for every single shot. You have to get through into the top 8 and then re-set and start again. It doesn’t matter where you’re seeded. I just told the girls, ‘We’re going to fight for every shot.’”

She added that the stress of being the house team is good.

“I think our girls quite like it. It’s nice having a lot of support out there.”

The prime 10 groups

After the primary spherical

Texas, 1 over

Oregon, 2 over

Stanford, 3 over

Arizona, 4 over

Kent State, 4 over

Duke, 4 over

Wake Forest, 4 over

LSU, 8 over

Ole Miss, 8 over

Oklahoma State, 9 over

Up subsequent

The second spherical begins Saturday at 6:30 a.m. native time. Teams that performed early on Friday could have later tee occasions Saturday; those that performed late within the first spherical will get these early tee occasions in Round 2. On Sunday, tee occasions will probably be decided primarily based on scoring.

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