Na Takes Share of Lead After First Round of Women's Golf Season
Sept. 19, 2011
Grace Na fired a 3-under 69 to take a share of the first-round lead at the Golfweek Conference Challenge on Monday, as the Waves' women's golf team got its season underway.
After a rough start, the Waves began climbing back up the leaderboard and worked their way into a tie for fifth place with a score of 300 at the par-72 Red Sky Golf Club. They trail leader UC Davis by six strokes and are tied with Mississippi. The second round is Tuesday and the third and final round is on Wednesday.
Though Na (Alameda, Calif./Alameda HS) was 2-over through six holes, she got things going with birdies on the 17th and 18th holes, then eagled the par-5 second hole. After a bogey on the fifth hole, she posted her fourth and fifth birdies of the round on the sixth and eighth holes, respectively.
Na, a Golfweek All-American honorable mention and the West Coast Conference Player of the Year last season, is tied for first place with Natalie Gleadall of Mississippi and Kaitlin Higginbotham of Coastal Carolina. Dating back to last season, it's the third straight tournament where Na has posted a score of 69 or better.
The Waves' other sophomores, Liv Cheng (Auckland, New Zealand) and Danielle Gillaspy (Santa Maria, Calif./St. Joseph' HS), are next on the board for the Waves. Cheng is tied for 26th place after a 75 and Gillaspy is tied for 39th place after a 77. Both players finished strong, as each of them recorded two of their three birdies on the day over their final five holes.
Senior Kaitlin Drolson (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) is tied for 61st at 79, while freshman Somin Lee (Denver, Colo./Overland HS), making her collegiate debut in her home state, is tied for 73rd at 80. Lee had two birdies and Drolson had one.
Team Scores: 1. UC Davis 294; T2. Oregon 297; T2. Coastal Carolina 297; 4. Denver 299; T5. Mississippi 300; T5. Pepperdine 300; 7. Oklahoma 301; T8. Notre Dame 302; T8. Minnesota 302; T10. Georgia State 304; T10. UTSA 304; T10. Kennesaw State 304; T13. Tulsa 305; T13. Chattanooga 305; 15. TCU 307; 16. New Mexico State 312; 17. Pennsylvania 313; 18. Western Michigan 320.
Top Individuals: T1. Natalie Gleadall (Mississippi) 69; T1. Grace Na (Pepperdine) 69; T1. Kaitlin Higginbotham (Coastal Carolina) 69; 4. Chirapat Jao-Javanil (Oklahoma) 70; 5. Charlotte Lorentzen (Georgia State) 71.