Kaleigh Telfer

Kaleigh Telfer prepares to tee off at the NCAA Championship on Friday in Fayetteville, Ark.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.  On the first day of the NCAA Championship, Blessings Golf Club got the better of most teams in the field. However, No. 13 Auburn battled throughout the round Friday and finished in a tie for 11th after carding a 313 (+21) as a team.

“It’s really difficult to learn this golf course in one day,” Auburn head coach Melissa Luellen said. “I think we all will take what we learned from today and apply it to tomorrow. They knew it was going to be tough. It was tough. But their attitudes were extraordinary, which will enable them to continue on. They’re going to come out tomorrow, and they’re going to be in a good frame of mind. We just have to minimize mistakes.”

Sophomore Kaleigh Telfer led the way for the Tigers with a 3-over 76 in the first round. Telfer struggled early but made three birdies on the back nine, including one on 18 to finish her day. She’s currently tied for 19th on the player leaderboard. 

Fellow sophomore Julie McCarthy and freshman Brooke Sansom, both making their debut at the NCAA Championship, are tied for 39th overall after each golfer shot a 78 (+5) on Friday. The duo made three birdies between them, but they shared the team lead with 11 pars made apiece.

The shot of the round for Auburn went to Elena Hualde Zúñiga, who drained a 60-foot putt for eagle on the seventh hole. It was one of just four eagles made by any player in the tournament thus far. The junior finished her round at 8 over and is tied for 81st. She’s followed by sophomore Mychael O’Berry, who is tied for 101st after opening with an 83 (+10). 

Texas and Arkansas lead the 24-team field at 10 over (302), and the rest of the top 10 is as followed: Stanford (304), Arizona (304), Duke (305), USC (306), Wake Forest (309), Arizona State (310), Washington (311) and Purdue (312).

Auburn will start Saturday’s second round from the 10th hole and will tee off at 8:06 a.m. CT. The Tigers will be once again play with Arkansas and Florida. Live scoring can be found on Golfstat.com.

Team Standings

T1. Texas -- 302 (+10)

T1. Arkansas -- 302 (+10)

T3. Stanford -- 304 (+12)

T3. Arizona -- 304 (+12)

5. Duke -- 305 (+13)

6. USC -- 306 (+14)

7. Wake Forest -- 309 (+17)

8. Arizona State -- 310 (+18)

9. Washington -- 311 (+19)

10. Purdue -- 312 (+20)

T11. Auburn -- 313 (+21)

T11. Northwestern -- 313 (+21)

T13. Virginia -- 314 (+22)

T13. Ole Miss -- 314 (+22)

15. UCLA -- 315 (+23)

16. Vanderbilt -- 319 (+27)

17. Illinois -- 320 (+28)

T18. Florida State -- 321 (+29)

T18. UCF -- 321 (+29)

T18. Florida -- 321 (+29)

21. Indiana -- 322 (+30)

22. San Jose State -- 324 (+32)

23. Kent State -- 325 (+33)

24. Tennessee -- 328 (+36)

Auburn Individuals

T19. Kaleigh Telfer -- 76 (+3)

T39. Julie McCarthy -- 78 (+5)

T39. Brooke Sansom -- 78 (+5)

T81. Elena Hualde Zúñiga -- 81 (+8)

T101. Mychael O’Berry -- 83 (+10)


Greg Ostendorf is a member of the Auburn University athletics staff.

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