Day one at the NAIA Women’s Golf National Championship is still under way, but No. 24 Milligan College is in the clubhouse after firing an opening-round 331.
Cassidy Gibson led the way with a 6-over-par 78 despite playing the last three holes three over par. Brittany Branker, Megan Gaylor and Madison Smith shot rounds of 83, 84 and 86, respectively, in the hot temps and high humidity characteristic of the Savannah Quarters Country Club.
Based on the current flow of play, Gibson is likely to finish well inside the top 50 and could go as high as the top 40, and the latter trio could all have spots in the top 100. The final pairings for day one should finish up in the late evening.
Milligan’s 331 is already better than seven other teams, and the Buffs could climb as high as the top 15 as a team. Bellevue University is the current team leader with an opening-round score of 300 (+12). British Columbia is right on the heels of Bellevue with a 301.
“While it wasn’t our best effort today, I am very confident that our girls will settle in and make positive strides tomorrow,” Head Coach Tony Wallingford said. “While we promote a freer, looser, more confident approach with every hole, we were a bit nervous, careful, and tight today. That being said, as I look at the bigger 54-hole picture, we still have a great opportunity to climb into position to make the cut. Our group was a bit disappointed with their score, but I know that the girls will play with great focus and determination tomorrow.”
Heather Shake of Houston – Victoria is currently the lone individual under par with a minus 1 through the first 12 holes. Charlene Dubois of Bellevue, Emma Allen of Oklahoma City University and Paulina Sekerkova of South Carolina Beaufort currently share the runner-up spot individually with even par rounds of 72.
Day two action is scheduled to be under way Wednesday morning at 7:30 a.m., but the Buffs have an afternoon tee time of 1:50 p.m. Video and live scoring updates can be found at the link above.