By Shane Bacon
CHRIS CODUTO/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Junior Lani Elston tees off during a tournament last Spring at Arizona National golf club. Elston shot an opening round 73 today at the Mercedes-Benz of Bend Women's Fall Preview in bend, Ore.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
The Wildcat women's golf team found itself in seventh place after day one in Bend, Ore., sitting in the top half of arguably the strongest field of the fall semester.
Arizona collected four consistent rounds to find itself at 10-over par 294 to start the first round of the Mercedes-Benz of Bend Women's Fall Preview.
The Duke Blue Devils are leading the tournament riding the sensational round by Brittany Lang, who posted a 7-under par, 64 to lead by three shots.
The Wildcats are 11 shots back of Duke heading into round two and trail second place Washington sixth place Arizona State as the top Pacific 10 conference teams.
Top ranked UCLA is one shot behind Arizona, tied for eighth place overall with Ohio State.
UA Head coach Greg Allen said that his team didn't finish as strong as they started but still are in good position for the rest of the week.
"We had some bogeys coming in," Allen said. "We're off to a great start, we just had a few too many putts on the back nine."
Sophomore Cassandra Kirkland was the low finisher for the Wildcats, shooting a 1-over par 72 and finds herself in a tie for 16th place.
Kirkland made the turn at 1-under par, but had three bogeys in five holes before a birdie on the 17th hole.
Juniors Lani Elston and Whitney Welch followed up Kirkland's 72 with 73's of their own, while senior Mar Garcia finished up the four scores with a 76.
Garcia got in late Sunday night from accompanying her brother, Sergio, at the Ryder Cup.
Allen said he was impressed with Garcia's play since she had yet to see the course.
"For Mar seeing this golf course for the first time, 76 isn't bad," he said. "She got in late last night but she will play better tomorrow."
Even though she had yet to see the golf course, Garcia provided the shot of the day for the Wildcats.
On the par-4 sixth hole, Garcia holed out from 150 yards for the lone eagle of the day for Arizona, but couldn't get the momentum going from that shot with bogeys on four of the next six holes.
Allen said he wanted the team to come out and gain confidence from this first tournament and even though they are in seventh place, feel they aren't in a terrible position.
"I felt like we struggled coming in and are still in range of first place," Allen said.
The Wildcats tee it up this morning for the second round at the 6,312 yard Meadows Golf Club at Sunriver Resort.