AUBURN, AL (WIAT) – Alabama’s women’s golf team picked up right where they left off two weeks ago at the SEC Championships. The Crimson Tide team fired an 11 under in the first round of the NCAA East Regionals in Auburn on Thursday.
Alabama’s score was the lowest round in NCAA tournament play in school history.
“I had a good feeling about our scoring opportunities on this golf course,” Alabama head coach Mic Potter said. “It reminded me a little of the course at the PING/ASU Invitational, and we played well there. We have a lot of girls that have been in this type of situation before, whether it was in junior golf, the U.S. Open’s or National Championships. They know what the standards are that we want to play to and that is to focus on every shot. It is not winning regionals, it is about scoring to the best of their ability, and they did a great job using their capabilities today.”
Alabama leads Arkansas and Tulane by six shots each. The Tide were led by true freshman Emma Talley shot a 5-under 67, which tied her for the individual lead. Stephanie Meadow fired a 4-under 68 as well.
“We have four girls that are All-SEC, the nation’s current scoring leader and the SEC Freshman of the Year, so it is not like they haven’t been here before,” Potter said. “They are very capable of shooting these types of scores day in and day out. What I’m most proud of is their mental capacity to just go out here and stay in the present. They just continue to play one shot at a time – that is all we talk about. They did a great job of that today, and never let the situation affect them.”
The top eight finishers at the NCAA East Regional will advance to the NCAA Championships at the University of Georgia Golf Course on May 21-24 in Athens, Ga.
The Auburn Tigers, who are hosting the regional, finished the day tied for 12th overall shooting a 11-over for the day. They were led by Diana Fernandez, who shot a 1-over 71.
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Emma Talley Quotes (Provided by Auburn University Media Relations)
Emma Talley, Alabama
On her opening round…
“Yesterday was really fun, and we had a really good practice round. We were feeling really good about it. A few of our players played in the SEC Championship a few years ago, so they knew a lot about the course. Being a freshman, that really helped me out because I’d never seen the course before. We had a good week of practice last week after the SEC Championship. Everything was going pretty well. I played consistent today. I didn’t have any bogies today, so that was nice, and that always helps. I played pretty well today, and I can’t complain.”
On what she liked about the course…
“The eagle was pure luck. I was on a par 5, and I chipped it in. This course is really nice. Nothing can go wrong here. It’s pretty short, so I got to hit my 3-wood a few times off the tee, which was nice. This course is pure fairways and greens and do the best you can, so that’s what I did today. I missed a few puts, but that’s all right.”
On the importance of getting off to a good start…
“It’s very important, I think. I actually shot just 1-under on the front, but missed lots of puts, but I knew there were a lot more birdie opportunities out there. I just had to keep going. The course is in awesome shape, and I started out with a few looks at a birdie, so I knew if I could just keep doing that, there were more birdies out there.”