* First-day results and second-round tee times are available in the LINKS box to the right, and click here for a photo gallery link.
WILMINGTON, N.C. – Showing little signs of nervousness in the biggest event of the season, University of Oregon freshman Cheyenne Hickle shot a one-under 71 Tuesday to lead the No. 28 Duck women's golf team in first-round action in the NCAA Women's Golf Championships at the Country Club of Landfall.
The Gilbert, Ariz., native was tied for 14th overall in the 126-player field, thanks to her five birdies on the par-3 second, par-5 sixth, par-4 ninth, par-3 16th and par-5 18th holes. She also logged nine par scores (1, 3, 5, 10-13, 15, 17), to go along with four bogeys (#4, #7-8, #14) on the par 72, 6,368-yard Pete Dye-designed course.
“I had a lot of fun today,” Hickle said. “I knew there would be some tough holes, so I tried to be calm and be ready to get birdies when they were available. I didn’t hit it very well off the tee, but I was still able to get up and down because I had a good day with my irons and some good saves out of the sand.”
Her score stood as the second-lowest of her career, and one stroke behind her two-under 70 opening round at the Bruin Wave Invitational in March in Santa Clarita, Calif.
She also paced UO for the ninth time in her 20 rounds this spring, and has achieved the feat in six of her eight tourneys in 2010.
“I putted really well,” Hickle said. “The rain last night made the greens more receptive and readable, compared to how fast and dry they were in the practice round. Yesterday, I had some problems sizing them up, so today I tried to go with my first instinct, and that worked pretty well. The first birdie on my seventh hole (hole #16) gave me a lot of confidence because I had been stroking it well before then, but they weren’t falling. From there, I had two more in the next four holes, and another 30-footer for par, so that was an important stretch.”
Sophomore Ashley Edwards followed in a tie for 30th place (73), and carded three birdies on the par-4 first, par-3 16th and par-5 18th hole.
“I’ve never felt this excited yet relaxed before an event,” Edwards said. “My putting was on, and my swing has felt better recently. I also owe thanks to my dad who came up to Eugene and helped me with my swing. I thought the course was tough, but I expected something like this based on USGA events I’ve played before.”
Senior Kate Hildahl and junior Kendra Little followed in a tie for 108th place with their 79 scores, and junior Erica Omlid was one stroke back in a tie for 116th with her 80.
In its seventh NCAA trip in school history and first since 2000, No. 28 Oregon stood 21st in the 24-team team field with its 14-over score of 302.
“We came in with the approach to try and see what we can do against a great field,” first-year head coach Ria Quiazon said.
“Our younger players showed great maturity today. Cheyenne played really solid and in control. She looked the most relaxed of all our players off the first tee – I think her excitement helped her focus. Ashley has been adjusting well to the wind, both here and at Regionals, and is continuing to mature. Kate and Erica didn’t score as well as they felt they could have, but we obviously believe in them, and both are swinging well. Kate rallied at the end to put herself in a good spot for Wednesday. Kendra hung in there and made a few adjustments as the round went on, and will be ready to do her part tomorrow.”
Overall in the team standings, No. 4 USC shot a six-under 282, and held a two-stroke lead over No. 8 Purdue (second, 284). Three other teams – No. 5 Arizona State, No. 1 UCLA and No. 2 Duke - followed in a tie for third place at 288.
Other teams in the top 10 included No. 7 Alabama and No. 23 Florida State (sixth-tie, 289), No. 18 TCU (eighth, 292), No. 3 Auburn (ninth, 293) and No. 13 Virginia (10th, 294).
Two other conference teams ranked just ahead of Oregon – No. 6 Arizona (12th-tie, 296) and No. 11 Stanford (19th-tie, 300).
On the individual leaderboard, a pair of Pac-10 players, USC's Jennifer Song and Arizona State's Jennifer Johnson, were tied for the lead with Purdue's Maude-Aimee LeBlanc thanks to their five-under scores of 67.
Three other players followed in a tie for fourth place with four-under 68 scores - USC's Cyna Rodriguez, UCLA's Brianna Do and Duke's Kim Donovan.
Regularly-updated hole-by-hole results for the tournament are available each day via the www.GolfStat.com website at the http://golfstatresults.com/public/index.cfm?tournament_id=1637 URL link.
Looking ahead, UO's first tee time Wednesday is set for 9:20 a.m. Pacific Time (12:20 p.m. Eastern Time) off the first hole of the Dye Course. Afterward, the tourney concludes with single rounds on Thursday and Friday.
The last two days, video streaming from the 16th, 17th and 18th holes will be available at the www.NCAAsports.com website, along with more event information and history.
FIRST ROUND FINAL RESULTS
29th Annual NCAA Women’s Golf Championships
Dye Course – Par 72, 6,368 yards
Wilmington, N.C. (Host: UNC Wilmington)
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
TEAM RESULTS – 1, USC, 282. 2, Purdue, 284. 3t, Arizona State, 288. 3t, UCLA, 288. 3t, Duke, 288. 6t, Alabama, 289. 6t, Florida State, 289. 8, TCU, 292. 9, Auburn, 293. 10, Virginia, 294. 11, Oklahoma State, 295. 12t, Vanderbilt, 296. 12t, Arizona, 296. 14t, Pepperdine, 297. 14t, Texas A&M, 297. 14t, Tennessee, 297. 17, San Jose State, 298. 18, Texas, 299. 19t, South Carolina, 300. 19t, Stanford, 300. 21, Oregon, 302. 22, New Mexico, 303. 23, Kent State, 307. 24, Tulane, 311.
INDIVIDUAL RESULTS – 1t, Jennifer Song, USC, 67. 1t, Maude-Aimee Leblanc, Purdue, 67. 1t, Jennifer Johnson, Arizona State, 67. 4t, Cyna Rodriguez, USC, 68. 4t, Brianna Do, UCLA, 68. 4t, Kim Donovan, Duke, 68. 7, Jessica Negron, Florida State, 69. 8t, Six players tied at 70.
OREGON INDIVIDUAL RESULTS – 14t, Cheyenne Hickle, 71. 30t, Ashley Edwards, 73. 108t, Kate Hildahl, 79. 108t, Kendra Little, 79. 116t, Erica Omlid, 80.
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