STILLWATER, Okla. — With high scores dominating the field, CU found itself right in the hunt, tied for 13th place after the first round of the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship at the Karsten Creek Golf Club.
The No. 28 ranked Buffaloes are tied with No. 18 Wake Forest after shooting an 18-over, 306. Despite the higher-than-desired score, Colorado remains right in the thick of it. The Buffs are on the plus side of 15th, which would get them to Monday’s fourth round, and five shots out of eighth, the cut line for match play.
All 24 teams shot over par rounds and only four managed single digits over par. No. 6 USC is the first round leader at 3-over, 291. Top-ranked Alabama is one stroke back at 4-over, No. 3 UCLA is third at 6-over and No. 16 Kent State is in fourth at 8-over.
Sophomore Kirsty Hodgkins had Colorado’s low round, shooting 2-over, 74, and is tied for 28th overall. Senior Brittany Fan and sophomore Robyn Choi each carded 3-over, 75, and are tied for 35th.
Wake Forest’s Jennifer Kupcho shot a 7-under, 65, to take a three stroke lead over Northwestern’s Janet Mao. Only 10 of 132 individual had rounds in the red Friday.
“It’s a very difficult course and we knew that coming in from our experience at the regional (in 2014) and years ago in the Big 12,” Colorado head coach Anne Kelly said. “It’s a fair course but it will test every part of your game. They could play a U.S. Women’s Open out here.”
Colorado played both sides fairly similar, shooting 10-over on the front and slightly better at 8-over on the back. The Buffaloes had four birdies on each side and split their four big numbers — double-bogey or worse — with two on each side.
Colorado’s four birdies on the back came at a great time. The Buffs had slid to 21-over, but the trio of Fan, Hodgkins and Choi each birdied the 482-yard par-5 No. 18 to pick up three strokes to close out the round. Hodgkins also birdied No. 17.
“That was a big finish for us,” Kelly said. “Those three really came through once again. Can’t ever complain about this team in general but those three in particular give us there all in every round. A 74 or 75 is a good solid round out here.”
Colorado will pair again with Ohio State and Mississippi and will be one of the last groups to tee off, beginning from the No. 10 tee today at 12:21 p.m.