May 17, 2005
SUNRIVER, Ore.-- University of Tennessee golfer Marci Turner is tied for third place after the first round of the 2005 NCAA Women's Golf Championships concluded on Tuesday evening. In the cold and rainy conditions, the freshman fired an even-par-71, the best-opening round in school history at the event, to lead the way for the Orange and White. Sarah Bonner-Shanks provided the most exciting moment on the day, making a hole-in-one on the par-three 146-yard fourth hole. As a team, the sixth-ranked Lady Vols turned in a total of 300 and are deadlocked for 10th place.
"We are pretty disappointed. We had great rounds from Marci and Sarah so I'm really proud of them, but to have two of our better players (Golda and Jessica) not play well really hurt us," said Lady Vol head coach Judi Pavon. "The weather conditions were really tough and we know that we have a lot of golf left. We will look to play a little bit better tomorrow."
Turner began the round with a bogey but immediately settled down. She strung together eight straight holes of par or better, including a birdie on the sixth and ninth holes to make the turn at one-below-par 34. The Tompkinsville, Ky., native moved to two-under-par following a birdie on the 15th, but finished the day even after a bogey attempt lipped out on the 18th. The tally of 71 is the best ever by a UT freshman at the national championships and is two back of Pepperdine's Carolina Llano.
"I hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens," said Turner "I was comfortable over the ball the whole day. I just stayed calm and made good shots."
Bonner-Shanks had a challenging start to the day with a double-bogey and a bogey in the first two holes, but a par on the third set up the magical moment at the fourth hole. The Kingsport, Tenn., native's drive hit the left edge of the green and took a bounce directly toward the pin before falling in. There was no immediate celebration, however, as Bonner-Shanks and two other players searched behind the green for nearly two minutes before realizing the ball was in the hole.
"I hit an 8-iron and it hit the left heel on the left side of the green and kicked right," said Bonner-Shanks. "Nobody really saw it go. We went up there and were looking behind the green for the ball for about two minutes. Finally I thought maybe it could be in the hole and one of the golfers I was playing with looked in and saw it. It was a very nice surprise. "
The senior became just the fourth player on Rocky Top to record an ace, joining Teesha Ash who did so at last year's NCAA Championships and former Lady Vol standouts Tina Schneeberger and Skyli Yamada. The amazing shot spurred her on for the rest of the round, as she made the turn at two-over-par following a birdie on the ninth. On the back nine, Bonner-Shanks played extremely solid, making nine straight pars to finish with a score of 73. It is the lowest round in history by a UT senior at the NCAA Championships. She is tied for 21st place.
"I played fairly well," said Bonner-Shanks. "I had a little bit of jitters at the beginning of the day but the hole in one really calmed me down and I was able to play par golf."
Violeta Retamoza (Aguascalientes, Mexico) began the day with five straight pars before running into difficulty the next three holes with two bogeys and a double. The Southeastern Conference Golfer of the Year did not rattle and made eight pars in the final 10 holes to conclude with a total of 77. The junior sits tied for 74th.
Golda Johansson (Lund, Sweden) finished the day with a score of 79 and is tied for 98th. She was challenged at the initial part of her day as she made the turn at five-over par. Over the last nine holes, however, the junior settled down to make par or better in six holes.
Jessica Shepley (Oakville, Ontario) carded an 82 to sit in a stalemate for 125th. The senior battled the winds and rain on the front nine, but was steady on the final nine holes which she played at three-over-par.
Play continues at 9 a.m. Wednesday on the par-71 6,312 yard-course with the Lady Vols slated to tee off at 9:50 a.m.
|Lady Vol Scores|