COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Texas senior Devan Andersen and junior Julia Best completed their first of four rounds at the 2006 NCAA Women's Golf Championships on Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio, after making the championships as individual competitors. The championships are being held at the Ohio State Scarlet Course (par 72, 6,203 yards).
Best (Bulverde, Texas) is currently tied for 21st-place after posting a first round score of two-over par (74). In her third trip to the NCAA Championships, Andersen (Guadalajara, Mexico) posted a 10-over par 82 (tying for 116).
The championships run Tuesday-Friday, May 23-26 with 18 holes each day. A total of 126 student-athletes from 30 NCAA Division I institutions are participating in the event.
Eileen Vargas of Pepperdine is the current leader at four-under par (68) through the first round, followed closely by Tiffany Chudy of Florida at three-under (69) and Jennifer Osborn of Arizona State at two-under par (70).
Southern California, fresh off a win at the NCAA Central Regionals in Bryan Texas, currently leads the team competition at three-over par (291). Arizona State is in second with a team score of 292 (+4) and Florida is in third-place with 293 (+5).
"This is a great track in phenomenal shape for the NCAA Championships," said UT women's head golf coach Susan Watkins. "Both Julia and Devan were a little out of their rhythm after starting early in the opening groups, but settled down after they got a few holes under their belts. If Julia can maintain her pace she will do well, as will Devan if she plays to her ability. The scores are going to continue to even off as the event progresses."
Best started the day in the first group off the back nine. Her first-ever NCAA Championship hole was a par, but she finished the back nine at three-over with one birdie on the par-five 14th. She finished the front nine at one-under par, thanks to birdies on holes No. 4 and No. 6.
Andersen began her round in the first group to tee-off from the front nine. Standing five-over after three holes, she righted herself and put together a string of seven pars from holes No. 9 through No. 15 before ending her round on three-straight bogeys.
Andersen's best finish at the NCAA Championships is a tie for 50th in 2003 as a freshman. She is currently averaging 78.3 in the second round after seven tournaments, while Best is averaging a team-best 76.4 for her second day in nine outings.