Brittany Fan
Brittany Fan

As the University of Colorado women's golf team learned, it's not how you start but how you finish that really counts. Two days remain in the NCAA West Regional tournament, but the Buffs' play on the back nine Thursday might serve as a good omen for what's to come.

CU posted an 11-over-par 295 following 14 birdies and 46 pars, tying for sixth place in the 18-team field with Wake Forest at the 6,269-yard, Par-71 Stanford Golf Course in Stanford, Calif. The Buffs were 10-over after the front nine, but turned it around over the final nine holes to shoot 1-over-par, including eight birdies.

It was the third-lowest round in program history.

"The main thing today is just to not shoot yourself out of it," Colorado head coach Anne Kelly said. "We did not get off to a great start. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot on the front nine, which I think was maybe a case of trying too hard and that is easy to do. But we had a nice comeback, which helped put us back in it. The team settled in and started playing their games better on the back."

Sophomore Brittany Fan led the way for CU with an even-par 71, tied for seventh after the first round of the 54-hole tournament. After a slow start — she sat at 2-over with eight holes to go, Fan made six straight pars before back-to-back birdies on No. 17 and 18 brought her to even-par.


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"The best part of my round today was my putting," Fan said. "I've been working a lot on that lately and noticed in the last few tournaments. I have gotten a lot better. I gave myself a lot of good chances today, especially on the back nine to make putts."

CSU's Katrina Prendergast leads the field after carding a 3-under-par 68. She's one shot ahead of Stanford's Mariah Stackhouse and UC Riverside's Jakeishya Le. Three more golfers — Pepperdine's Patricia Wong, Michigan State's Carolyn Markley and Texas Tech's Mami Yamamoto — are at 1-under.

Buffs junior Esther Lee is tied for 16th after a 1-over 72, while freshman Gillian Vance, in her regional debut, shot a 4-over-par 75. Alexis Keating rounded out the team scoring for CU with a 6-over 75, tying for 64th. Junior Natalie Vivaldi is two strokes back of that at 8-over 77, tied for 81st.

Top-seeded Southern California holds a one-shot team lead over Virginia after the first round with 3-over-par 287. Regional host Stanford is third, two shots off the pace. Texas Tech and Michigan State are tied for fourth at 7-over 291. CU is paired with Texas Tech and Michigan State for today's second round.

The top six teams and three individuals not on those teams qualify for the NCAA Championships, scheduled for May 20-25 at the Eugene (Ore.) Country Club.

NCAA West Regional

Team scores

1. Southern California ..........................................287

2. Virginia ............................................................288

3. Stanford ............................................................289

T4. Texas Tech ....................................................,291

T4. Michigan State ...............................................291

T6. COLORADO ...........................................295

T6. Wake Forest ...................................................295

T8. Arkansas .........................................................298

T8. Pepperdine ......................................................298

T10. San Jose State ...............................................299

T10. San Diego State ............................................299

T10. Ohio State .....................................................299

T13. UNLV ............................................................300

T13. Idaho ..............................................................300

15. North Carolina ..................................................302

T16. Richmond .......................................................306

T16. UC Riverside ..................................................306

18. Seton Hall ..........................................................310

Top 5 individuals

1. Katrina Prendergast, Colorado State......................68

T2. Mariah Stackhouse, Stanford...............................69

T2. Jakeishya Le, UC Riverside ................................69

T4. Patricia Wong, Pepperdine ..................................70

T4. Carolyn Markley, Michigan State ........................70

T4. Mami Yamamoto, Texas Tech ..............................70

CU individuals

T7. Brittany Fan ...........................................................71

T16. Esther Lee ............................................................72

T42. Gillian Vance .......................................................75

T64. Alexis Keating .....................................................77

T81. Natalie Vivaldi .....................................................79