By Nick Snow
ATHENS, Ga. —
Early nerves and late struggles cost the Oklahoma State women’s golf team as they opened the NCAA Championships with a 15-over 303 Tuesday at the University of Georgia Golf Course.
“We struggled right out the gate and lost some shots around the greens,” Oklahoma State coach Alan Bratton said. “Then we kind of stumbled at the end. We had a par 5 that we should have been able to score on, but we didn’t.”
Freshman Julie Yang led the way for Oklahoma State, firing a 2-over 74 as the Cowgirls sit in 22nd place — two shots behind Wisconsin and Oregon — after the first day. Jayde Panos carded a 3-over 75, while Kelsey Vines recorded a 76.
But perhaps where the Cowgirls suffered the most damage was from a pair of 78s from No. 2 Josephine Janson and Lauren Falley.
“For a lot of these girls, this was their first time in the national championship,” Bratton said. “We didn’t get off to a good start, but we’re not making any excuses. There’s still a lot of golf to be played. We didn’t make a lot of major mistakes. We just have to move on.”
It won’t take much for the Cowgirls to move on, with an early tee time Wednesday. Oklahoma State will be hoping to make a move when it tee off at 7:28 a.m., joined by Florida and South Carolina.
“We can’t wait to get back on the course,” Bratton said. “We know that we can’t get any shots back, but I think the girls feel more confident about the course after the first round. We still have a lot of work to do, but we just have to stay patient. It’s a long week with a 72-hole tournament. We just need to do a better job and not leave as much out there as we did.”
Southern California and San Jose State are tied for the lead, with both teams tallying a 4-under 284 to open the championship. San Jose State’s Regan De Guzman also leads the individuals with a 5-under 67, two strokes ahead of Duke’s Celine Boutier and Alabama’s Stephanie Meadow.