Slow Start Doesn’t Deter No. 14 Auburn at NCAA Regional
SOURCE: AUBURN ATHLETICS
No team made more pars in the first round of the NCAA Auburn Regional than No. 14 Auburn with 68. But the Tigers also made only four birdies at Saugahatchee Country Club on Monday and finished the round in a tie for 8th at 11 over.
“We never really got anything going,” Auburn head coach Melissa Luellen said. “Obviously, the golf course is challenging. You see a lot of bogeys out there and not a ton of birdies. We just have to be really patient.
“What we’re really focusing on, which we focused on all season long, is can we make the fewest amount of mental errors? And today, we did not meet our goal. We didn’t hit the ball bad. We didn’t putt that bad. There are just some mental errors, some indecision and lack of commitment. If we clean that up, I think we’ll have a really good next two days.”
Sophomore Mychael O’Berry led the way for Auburn with a 2-over 74 that included a 35 (-1) on the front nine. She is currently tied for 20th on the player leaderboard.
The trio of Brooke Sansom, Kaleigh Telfer and Elena Hualde Zúñiga all finished one stroke back at 3 over, and all three are currently in a tie for 34th overall. Sansom made two of the team’s four birdies on the day, and though Telfer and Hualde Zúñiga didn’t make birdie, they each finished the round with 15 pars apiece.
Rounding out the Auburn contingent was sophomore Julie McCarthy, who is tied for 51st after carding a 76 (+4) in the first round. She made birdie on the par-5 first hole.
Vanderbilt leads the 18-team field at 1 under (287) and is followed by Duke (290), Florida State (291), East Carolina (291), Tennessee (294), Maryland (294), Virginia (296), Furman (299), Auburn (299), Alabama (300), Denver (304), California (304), Houston (306), Clemson (307), Kennesaw State (308), Albany (309), South Alabama (310) and Murray State (312).
With the top six teams advancing to the NCAA Championships, Auburn has two days left to make their move. That begins with a short-term memory and turning the page.
“Today wasn’t our best round, so we’re going to just toss it out,” O’Berry said. “We’ve got two brand new days coming, completely different conditions, so we’re just going to do what we know we can do and go out there and make the top six.”
In Tuesday’s second round, Auburn will once again tee off at 8 a.m. CT and play alongside Virginia and Furman. Live scoring can be found on Golfstat.com.