The No. 23 Arizona women's golf team sat in fourth place after the first day of the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational in Seattle, eight shots behind leader Pepperdine.
The Wildcats shot a 14-over-par 302 yesterday at the Sahalee Country Club, one of the toughest courses Arizona will play all season.
"It wasn't bad considering our best player was our throw-out score," said Wildcats head coach Greg Allen.
That score belonged to senior Cassandra Kirkland, who posted a 9-over 81.
Besides Kirkland's struggles, Allen said he was happy with the way the team played, especially the three freshmen - Lauren Espinosa, Sommer Scholl and Amanda Wilson - who started yesterday.
"The freshmen are our future," he said. "This shows the team we will see in the future."
Espinosa posted the best round of the day for the Wildcats, a 2-over 74 to put her in a tie for eighth place individually.
Redshirt senior Lani Elston-Marshall followed on the team leader board with a 3-over-par 75, while Scholl shot a 76 and Wilson posted a 77.
"It wasn't great, but we're in a position with a chance," Allen said. "We are in a spot to come out and win this on Wednesday."
Allen said that playing well on this course will give his team only more confidence.
"A top-three finish would be a huge confidence boost for our freshmen," he said. "This is by far the most demanding course these freshmen will see until probably nationals."
Pepperdine led the 14-team field with a first-round 294, while Stanford and ASU are tied for second at 12-over 300.
The Wildcats are looking to improve on their 14th-place finish in their first tournament of the year, the Mason Rudolph Championships in Nashville, Tenn.
- Information taken from www.arizonaathletics.com.
Men's golf stuck in 10th in Birmingham
The No. 22 Arizona men's golf team finished in 10th place after two rounds yesterday in the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate in Birmingham, Ala.
Sophomore Trey Denton (16th place) led individual Wildcats, posting an even-par 71 in each round.
Junior Henry Liaw is tied for 32nd place with a 2-over 144.
Freshmen Nick Park, making his Wildcat tournament debut yesterday, finished tied for 48th place with a 6-over 148.
Fellow freshman Ben Fox is flying solo in 54th place with a 7-over 149.
The Wildcats trail ninth-place Tulsa by four strokes and leader Georgia Tech by 26 strokes.
Play concludes today at the Old Overton Club, as Arizona looks to move up the leader board in the final 18 holes.
- Information taken from the University of Alabama-Birmingham's athletics Web site and www.arizonaathletics.com.