Clemson, S.C.—Alexandra Swayne fired an even par 72 on Monday to lead Clemson to a 299 team score and a 14th place ranking after the first round of the Columbus (Ohio) Regional of the NCAA Women’s Golf Tournament. The 18-team tournament is being played at the Scarlet Course on the Ohio State campus.
This was the first round of three in the 54-hole event. The top six teams after 54 holes advance to the NCAA National Championship Tournament at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona May 21-26.
Clemson enters the second round just eight shots out of sixth place. Arizona State and Kent State are tied for fifth at 291. Oklahoma, ranked 33rd in the nation, holds the surprising first round lead at 286. Second-ranked Duke is second at 287 and 26th ranked Michigan is third at 288. Georgia stands in fourth at 289.
It was a fine round for Swayne, a junior who had a 75.53 stroke average entering the tournament. She was three-over-par entering the final three holes, but made birdie on 16, 17 and 18 to reach even par. She was the only golfer in the 96-player field to birdie 16, 17 and 18 and was one of just 22 golfers to score par-or-better in the opening round.
It was the third time this year Swayne had the low round among Clemson golfers and it was her first even-par round of the year. She has had two under-par rounds. For the day, Swayne had a team best five birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey. She stands in a tie for 15th place after the first round.
Ivy Shepherd, Clemson’s top golfer over the year with a 72.78 average, shot a one-over-par 73 in the first round. She was the only Clemson player without a double bogey on the difficult par 72 course that saw the 96 players average 75.67 on Monday.
Shepherd shot one-over-par on the front where she had one bogey and eight pars, then shot even-par on the back nine with two birdies, the par five 12th and par three 13th, and two bogeys. She stands in a tie for 23rd after 18 holes.
Annabelle Pancake and Calista Rice both had rounds of five-over-par 77. Pancake was playing in her first NCAA Tournament and was doing well through 14 holes with a one-over-score, but the native of Zionsville, Ind. made consecutive double bogeys on holes 15 and 16. Rice had her only birdie on the third hole of the day, but could not make a birdie to offset three bogeys on the back.
Savannah Grewal, who tied for Clemson’s best player at the ACC Tournament with a three-over-par score of 219 for the 54 holes and a 16th place finish, shot seven-over-par 79 in the first round.
Play continues tomorrow and live scoring is available on golfstat.com.