Southern Cal, San Jose State share 1st-round lead
ATHENS, Ga. -- Southern California and San Jose State shared the lead at 4-under 284 after the first round of the NCAA Women's Golf Championships on Tuesday.
USC, which won titles in 2003 and '08 and was runner-up in '10 and `12, came in as the top-ranked team in the country, while San Jose State -- which last won the title in `92 -- was 48th. The Spartans' had their lowest round in 19 appearances in the championships.
San Jose freshman Regan De Guzman led the field at 5-under 67, the school record for the lowest round in the NCAA championship. De Guzman had seven birdies -- five on the front nine -- and two bogeys.
"One of the girls I played with asked me if I knew what I scored and I said, `No, I'm sorry. I just know I made a lot of birdies," said De Guzman, the Western Athletic Conference's freshman of the year. "I feel great about it. I was having so much fun. The course is playing good. It's a tough course, but it was great."
Annie Park led the Women of Troy with a 2-under 70, while teammates Rachel Morris and Sophia Popov had 71s.
"There's a lot of golf left," Southern California coach Andrea Gaston said. "It's about stamina and holding up under the pressure for four days and they just have to keep themselves fresh. It's nice to be in this position and our goal is to keep all five players in it and know that every single shot counts."
Duke, which won back-to-back-to-back titles from 2005-2007, was in third after a 2-under 286 on the University of Georgia Golf Course, two strokes ahead of five-time defending champion Alabama.
"Considering that we were 5-over at one point, I'm happy right now," Crimson Tide coach Mic Potter said. "We've played enough here to know that we've got to get through the first six holes respectably and then there are some opportunities after that."
Purdue and UCLA were tied for fifth at 289, followed by Stanford (290), Oklahoma (291), Arizona State (293) and Tulane (295).
The Blue Devils' Celine Boutier and the Crimson Tide's Stephanie Meadow were tied for second, two shots behind De Guzman. Mississippi State's Allie McDonald was tied with Park at 2-under, with 14 players tied for sixth place another shot behind, and 13 tied for 20th at 72.
Boutier, who had her best round of the year, recorded three birdies and no bogeys, and Meadow, who won the Southeastern Conference championship and finished first at the NCAA East Regional, had four birdies and one bogey.
"My putting was really good today," said Boutier, the Atlantic Coast Conference's rookie of the year. "I saved a lot of pars and made three birdies, so it was very good. I couldn't be happier with the first day. I'm just going to try to play the same and hope it will be good. No holes gave me too many problems. I didn't make any bogeys so I guess it was OK."
The tournament continues through Friday.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
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