COLUMBUS, Ohio - Monday was the type of day that the Colorado women's golf team hopes to avoid every time it plays.
Fortunately for the Buffaloes, it was a tough day for a lot of teams, and after the first round of the NCAA Columbus Regional, CU is still in the hunt for the top six.
In the opening round at Ohio State's Scarlet Course, the Buffs stumbled to a 25-over par 313, landing in 10th place. Yet, with two rounds to play, the Buffs are just four shots out of sixth place - and five out of fifth. The top six advance to the NCAA Championship.
"It was a tough day," CU head coach Anne Kelly said. "Probably one of our tougher rounds of the spring, that's for sure."
Florida finished as the first-round leader at 9-over 297, with Florida State just two shots back. Purdue and Ohio State are tied for third at 14-over. The next seven teams - including CU - are within six shots of each other.
Purdue's Marta Martin Garcia is the individual leader at 2-under 70, making her the only player in the field to break par.
For CU, the 313 team score matches its highest round of the year, and it's the Buffs' worst in relation to par. Kelly said she doesn't believe the Buffs were nervous; it was just a combination of a lot of things not going well.
"No. 1, as you can tell from the scores (around the tournament), it's a really hard course," Kelly said. "It was windy. We didn't quite get the speed of the greens; they're pretty quick. There were some bad decisions. And, nobody really got a break today at all. Overall, a tough day."
On the 6,416-yard, par-72 course, the Buffs, as a group, managed just five birdies all day, three of those from freshman Robyn Choi, who led the way with a 3-over 75.
Choi, who is in a tie for 12th individually, went 1-under on the back nine, while junior Brittany Fan was 1-over on the back. Those two saved the Buffs from falling further behind. Fan finished at 5-over 77.
Senior Esther Lee had an uncharacteristic day, finishing at 9-over 81. It's just the second time in 84 rounds during her three seasons at CU that she's been in the 80s.
Freshman Kirsty Hodgkins carded an 8-over 80, while sophomore Lauryn Keating finished at 18-over 90. The top four scores for each team count for the team tally.
After the round, Kelly said the Buffs simply need to put this one behind them, get a good night of rest and tackle the course again on Tuesday.
"Quite honestly, you have to learn from this one and learn how to play the holes a little bit better and get going for tomorrow because we're not out of it and we still have a lot of golf to play," she said. "We've worked too hard this year to play ourselves out of it now."