May 9, 2013
NORMAN, Okla. (SMU) - Jennifer Park tallied four birdies and finished one-under par and Alexandra Rossi aced the par three second hole as SMU finished the day tied for 15th, just four shots out of the top eight. The top-eight finishers earn qualification to the NCAA Championships.
Park posted back-to-back birdies on the fourth and fifth holes to go from one-over to one-under. Park was bogeyless over the final 11 holes. The one-under round is Park's fourth under-par result of the season.
"I was really proud of Jennifer," Head Coach Jeanne Sutherland said. "I've seen steady improvement from her all season. She just needed to put it together, and I think she's doing that."
SMU started the day on the back nine, where Jenny Haglund would start the day two-under after nine holes. The freshman avoided any bogies during the stretch and birdied the par 5 13th and par 4 16th holes. Haglund would finish with a one-over par 73.
"Jenny Haglund looked great today," Sutherland said. "She had a couple bogeys on the back nine and I think she thinks that ruined her round, but she played really well today."
The Mustangs will look to bounce back tomorrow to climb up the leaderboard. As SMU relaxed over the course of the first day, the team started to play well and that can bode well for the Mustangs moving forward.
"We started off a little tight today, but we fought back well later in the round," Sutherland said. "We stayed in it all day."
Three teams in the top 10 are ranked outside the top 50 in the GolfWeek/Sagarin rankings. Tulane, the winner of the Conference USA Championship, is currently tied with No. 6 Arkansas for second at the NCAA East Regional.
"I think there's a lot of parity in golf, a lot more than there used to be," Sutherland said. "It's fun to see teams we've played all year perform so well against top-10 teams."
SMU will continue with round two tomorrow, and the first Mustang will tee off at 11:50 a.m. CT. SMU's five players will be grouped with members from Iowa State and Campbell.