AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas women's golf team stands in second place, two strokes behind leader Oklahoma State, after the first round of the 2005 Big 12 Women's Golf Championship Friday at the UT Golf Club - a par 72, 6,323-yard, 18-hole championship golf course. The No. 22-ranked Longhorns, the defending Big 12 champions, carded a nine-over par 297 to trial No. 9 Oklahoma State (295) on the team leaderboard in the 12-team tourney.
The 2005 Big 12 Championship is being conducted over a three-day period (Friday-Sunday, April 22-24) at the new UT Golf Club. This marks the first time Texas is hosting the women's league event.
Individually, two players sit atop the standings after firing rounds of two-under par 70's - University of Colorado senior Allison Rella and Oklahoma State senior and 2005 Big 12 Player of the Year Annie Thurman-Young, who is ranked No. 4 nationally. Thurman-Young, who was four-under after 16 until bogeying the last two holes, was the 2004 Big 12 medalist. Rella is the first Colorado golfer in league history to tie or lead the championship.
OSU's junior Karin Sjodin, the nation's fifth-ranked golfer is in third (at one-under 71) in the 60-player field.
Four of UT's five golfers placed among the top 16 finishers on Friday, led by senior Lisa Ferrero (Lodi, Calif.). Ferrero, ranked 42nd, carded a one-over par 73 to tie for fourth place with Texas Tech's Kim Kolb, Kansas' Chelsey Pryor and Elli Brown of Nebraska. All-Big 12 performer Ferraro, who entered the tourney with the squad's best scoring average (74.9), finishing strong as she collected four birdies on the back nine and finished those holes at two-under 34.
Texas freshman Kelley Louth (Victoria, Texas/Memorial HS), the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, finished with a two-over par 74 and sits in a tie for seventh. Louth carded three birdies in her final five holes.
Finishing three-over par (75) were Longhorn seniors Mariana Salazar (Torreon, Mexico) and Perry Swenson (Charlotte, N.C./ St. Stephens HS) while sophomore Julia Best (Bulverde, TX/Smithson Valley HS) shot an eight-over par 80.
"We accomplished our goal for today, which was to break 300 on the first day of play," Texas head coach Susan Watkins stated. "We've had a very difficult time doing that in other tournaments this year, so I was pleased that we started strong. Overall, I am pleased with our play. I know Julia (Best) is disappointed, but we all know she will rebound tomorrow. We lost a few shots on 18, but overall, we maintained a good composure and and fought hard all day long."
No. 33-ranked Baylor, Nebraska and Texas Tech are tied for third place with team scores of 305. Missouri, the No. 16 ranked team nationally, is in sixth place with a 306, and Colorado follows with a 307. Texas A&M finished with a 310, good for eighth place, while Kansas is in ninth 311). Oklahoma (314), Iowa State (317) and Kansas State (320) rounded out the teams.
"We've received rave reviews from everyone on our UT Golf Course, and I appreciate all the hard work which everyone has put into the course," noted Watkins. "The course is in really nice shape. It is a tough layout, a real championship facility, with or without our weather playing in as a factor. We are thrilled to be hosting this championship and look for another two days of great golf competition. We hope lots of Longhorn fans will come out and support us."
Second round play continues on Saturday morning, beginning at 8 a.m. (Central), with half the players starting at the first hole and half at the 10th hole. At 8:50 a.m., the Texas players will be called to the tees for second-round competition; all five Longhorns will begin Saturday's play from the first hole.
Last year, Texas fired a 592 total score for the league title, and bested three-time defending champion and runnerup Oklahoma in the process. The Cowgirls lead the Big 12 with four golf championships, followed by Texas with two and Oklahoma and Texas A&M tied at one apiece.
First Round Results - Friday, April 22, 2005
Team First Round Totals
1. Oklahoma State +7 295
2. TEXAS +9 297
3. Baylor +17 305
(t) Texas Tech +17 305
(t) Nebraska +17 305
6. Missouri +18 306
7. Colorado +19 307
8. Texas A&M +22 310
9. Kansas +23 311
10. Oklahoma +26 314
11 Iowa State +29 317
12. Kansas State +32 320
Big 12 Individual Leaders (After First Round)
T1. Allison Rella (Colorado) -2 70
T1. Annie Thurman-Young (Oklahoma St.) -2 70
3. Karin Sjodin (Oklahoma St.) -1 71
T4. Lisa Ferrero (Texas) +1 73
T4. Kim Kolb (Texas Tech) +1 73
T4. Chelsey Pryor (Kansas) +1 73
T7. Elli Brown (Nebraska) +2 74
T7. Candie Herrera (Oklahoma St.) +2 74
T7. Kelley Louth (Texas) +2 74
T7. Maria Ohlsson (Missouri) +2 74
T7. Valerie Tan (Texas Tech) +2 74
T12. Meredith Jones (Baylor) +3 75
T12. Mariana Salazar (Texas) +3 75
T12. Perry Swenson (Texas) +3 75
Other Texas Scores:
42. (t) Julia Best +8 (80)