FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- The No. 25 ranked University of Texas women's golf team finished the first round of the Mason Rudolph Women's Championship tied for 12th place, led by junior Julia Best's career-low one-over par 73 Friday afternoon in Franklin, Tenn.
The whole five-person squad opened the tournament on the back nine for their first round of action. Best sits in a tie for 26th place after starting off with a 38 on her opening nine, but followed it up with a one-under 35 to finish her round, recording birdie, birdie, par, par on the final four holes.
"I thought we did a great job for our first time out," said head women's coach Susan Watkins. "Kristin Walla played well and was able to come back in her second nine and score well. Caney [Hines] and Julia [Best] both played extremely well. We need to make a few more birdies tomorrow and we will be ok. They did a good job for their first time out this season."
Of the 15 teams in the field only one is not ranked in Golf World's preseason coaches poll and includes No. 1 UCLA, No. 2 Duke and No. 4 Auburn.
Freshman Caney Hines, tied for 33rd, followed with a two-over par 74, shooting nines of 39 and 35. She finished strong, going two-under with two birdies and three pars on the final five holes.
Both sophomore Kelley Louth and freshman Kristin Walla shot five-over 77's in their first action of the year to sit in a tie for 56th place. Louth put together nines of 38 and 39, while Walla struggled opening with a 40 on the back nine, but closed well with a 37 on the front despite a bogey on the ninth.
Junior Ashley Prust, tied for 79th, rounded out the team with a 10-over par 82. She started strong, opening with a 37 in her first nine, but after turning the bend, finished with a 45.
Host Vanderbilt currently leads with a nine-under par 279, followed by Duke Georgia at three-under par 285 tied for second. Arizona State and Wake Forest round out the top five with totals of 287 and 288, respectively.
The Longhorns will play again Saturday in second round action and Sunday for the final round of competition.
1 Vanderbilt -9279
T2 Duke -3285
T2 Georgia -3285
4 Arizona State -1287
5 Wake Forest E288
6 UCLA +2290
T7 Arkansas +3291
T7 Auburn +3291
9 Tulane +9297
10 Furman +11299
11 Oklahoma State +12300
T12 Florida +13301
T12 Texas +13301
Top Individuals (Par 72 Course)
T1 Jacqui Concolino Vanderbilt -468
T1 Liebelei Lawrence Vanderbilt -468
T3 Amanda Blumenherst Duke -369
T3 Anna Grzebien Duke -369
T3 Alina Lee Georgia -369
T3 Maria Martinez Auburn -369
T12 Texas +13301
T26 Julia Best +173
T33 Caney Hines +274
T56 Kelley Louth +577
T56 Kristin Walla +577
T79 Ashley Prust +1010