May 10, 2007
ST. GEORGE, Utah -- - Sophomore Jessica Black fired an opening round 72 to lead Washington State through the first round of the NCAA West Regional Thursday. Black is tied for ninth after the opening 18 holes and the Cougars are tied for eighth out of the 21 teams.
Black is four shots off the lead and two strokes out of third place. Oklahoma State's Pernilla Lindberg shot a three-under par 68 to lead all players over the par 72, 6,234 yard Entrada at Snow Canyon Country Club. Stanford's Jennifer Tangtiphalboontana opened with a 69 and is the only Pac-10 player to better Black's round of 72.
Black was spectacular for 17 holes, but a triple bogey on the last hole, the ninth hole on the course, pushed her from a potential 69 and a second place position to a tie for ninth.
"Jessica hit her driver very well and that was critical," offered WSU Head Coach Walt Williams. "She hit all of her clubs well, but she was especially effective with her driver until the second shot of her final hole."
Freshman Diana Hong opened the tournament with a 74 and is tied for 23rd out of 108 golfers who teed off for the opening round. Cougar Amy Eneroth opened with a 76, five shots over par. She is tied for 37th. Other WSU golfers are Tracy Broders, who shot a 79, and Brooke Henderson, who opened with an 81.
"Of our four counting scores, everyone drove the ball well and shot excellent golf, with the exception of one hole for each of them," said Williams. "Diana started out with a triple bogey on the first hole and still shot a 74, while Amy had a triple on the 18th hole and Tracy a quad on number 14."
"With the exception of one swing for each of our top four golfers, we would really be sitting nice," Williams said. "This course has lots of water and you have to keep the ball in the fairway. If you don't it can be ugly. I thought having played this course earlier in the spring was a tremendous help in understanding where to hit the ball," he added.
The top eight from each of three regionals will advance to the NCAA Championship tournament. Currently WSU is just two strokes out of seventh place after shooting a combined 301. Stanford, the leader with an opening 287 team total, and Arizona State, 294, are the only other Pac-10 team in the top 18. The Sun Devils shot a 294 and are in fourth place after the opening round.
"Going into the tournament I wanted our scores around 300 and we did that today," said Williams. "If we can have another 300 and bust one lower score in the second or third round, we could be in great position to reach the NCAA Championships." WSU last qualified for the NCAA tournament in 2003.
Team Results: 1. Stanford 287; T2. Brigham Young 291, Oklahoma State 291; 4. Arizona State 294; 5. UC Irvine 295; 6. New Mexico 298; 7. Denver 299; T8. Washington State 301, Pepperdine 301; 10. Campbell 305; T11. San Jose State 308, Idaho 308; 13. Florida 309; 14. San Francisco 310; 15. Hawaii 313; 16. Sacramento State 318; 17. UNLV 319; 18. Memphis 320; 19. California 321; 20. Nebraska 328; 21. Columbia 335.