AURORA, Colo. – The No. 13-ranked Northeastern State womenâ€™s golf team landed in ninth place after Wednesdayâ€™s first round of the 2016 NCAA Division II Championship, which is being held on the par-72, 6,468-yard CommonGround Golf Course.
The RiverHawks opened with a 16-over-par 304 to sit 14 back of the leaders. No. 1 Rollins and No. 4 Nova Southeastern pace the field at 2-over 290, while No. 11 Dallas Baptist is third at 5-over 293. No. 17 Augustana sits fourth at 9-over 297, and No. 30 Findlay rounded out the top five at 11-over 299.
True freshman Ebba Moberg and senior Charter Lawson both shot 2-over 74 to position themselves in a tie for 16th, while true freshman Kelsey Lumpkin carded a 5-over 77 to tie for 38th after one round of play.
Junior Baylee Price is tied for 56th at 7-over 79, while senior Kayla Schroeder is in solo 69th at 11-over 83.
Northeastern State will begin teeing off in Tuesdayâ€™s second round on the back nine at 8 a.m.
Central Oklahomaâ€™s Daniela Martinez, playing as an individual, shot a first-round 74. The senior standout is tied for 16th in the medalist standings, five shots behind the leader of the 72-hole tourney heading into Thursdayâ€™s second round at the 6,468-yard, par-72 CommonGround Golf Course.
Martinez started on the back nine and made seven pars against one birdie and one bogey to make the turn at even-par 36. She bogeyed three of the first five holes on the back nine before rebounding with a birdie on the 147-yard par-3 sixth hole – her 15th – and followed that with three straight pars.
Also playing as an individual, Audrey Meisch of Oklahoma Christian shot 74 and is tied for 16th.
Meisch, who hit the first shot of the tournament because she started first in the first group off No.10 tee, didn’t think she played particularly well, but as the scores rolled in, it became evident she wasn’t the only player who struggled at times over the 6,468-yard course that features wildly undulating greens.
Only five players shot under-par rounds and Meisch trailed the leader, Mailen Domecq Chantry of Nova Southeastern (Fla.) by only five shots and was just two shots out of the top 10.
Known as a long hitter, Meisch had trouble at times with her tee shots, but she made up for it with solid iron play and usually found the green in regulation. Once on the green, she couldn’t figure out the formula for hitting birdie putts, but still managed to make par on all but two holes – the par-4 No. 14 (courtesy of a three-putt) and the par-4 No. 5.
"I didn’t really hit the ball well off the tee until the end, but nothing really that got me in trouble," she said. "Irons worked pretty well today and I felt pretty good standing over the putts. There are just some really tricky greens out here so they’re tough to read. But as the week goes on, more of those will start dropping."
OC coach Greg Lynn said the higher elevation of the course – about 5,300 feet – can play havoc with club selection at times for players not used to it.
"Most clubs go a club further; the wedges don’t," Lynn said. "Trying to get the right yardage (on shots) is really difficult and today Audrey was kind of unlucky, because every single shot we had was a three-quarter or a half or seven-eighths. It wasn’t ever just a full swing. That makes golf really difficult. You can go out there some days and every shot is a full swing and it makes it really easy.
"The other issue is, we just didn’t read the greens well. They’re very difficult to read. Sometimes gravity doesn’t seem to come into play here."
Meisch will tee off at 9:50 a.m. Mountain time (10:50 a.m. Central time) on Thursday and expects to play better over the CommonGround course the second time around.
"I’m only going to get more and more comfortable, getting used to these greens," she said. "Once I get the driver straightened out a little bit and get a little bit more distance off the tee, I’ll be fine."
2016 NCAA WOMENâ€™S GOLF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP First Round Results
May 18-21, 2016 at Aurora, Colo.
(par-72, 6,468-yard CommonGround Golf Course)
T1. #1 Rollins 290 (+2)
#4 Nova Southeastern 290 (+2)
3. #11 Dallas Baptist 293 (+5)
4. #17 Augustana 297 (+9)
5. #30 Findlay 299 (+11)
6. #10 Indianapolis 300 (+12)
7. #7 Tarleton State 301 (+13)
8. #12 Grand Valley State 302 (+14)
9. #13 Northeastern State 304 (+16)
10. #5 Saint Leo 305 (+17)
11. #28 West Texas A&M 309 (+21)
12. Missouri Western State 327 (+39)
Rankings reflect the latest Golfstat.com Polls
1. Mailen Domecq Chantry (Nova Southeastern) 69 (-3)
T2. Brinn Fariss (Dallas Baptist) 70 (-2)
Marisa Toivonen (Augustana) 70 (-2)
T4. Vilde Eriksen (Saint Leo) 71 (-1)
Lexie Toth (Rollins) 71 (-1)
T16. Ebba Moberg 74 (+2)
Charter Lawson 74 (+2)
T38. Kelsey Lumpkin 77 (+5)
T56. Baylee Price 79 (+7)
69. Kayla Schroeder 83 (+11)