The Murray State Racers left room for improvement after Monday’s first round at the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship at the Lubbock, Texas regional. The Racers carded team score of 307 and stood in 14th place in the field of 18 teams at the Rawls Course at Texas Tech.

Every team here wants to be in the top-6 when the event ends Wednesday so they can advance to the NCAA Championship finals. The Racers didn’t shoot themselves out of it and are in the hunt at nine shots from the sixth spot, currently held down by San Diego State at 298.

The top-6 after one round included leader Arizona State (293), Oregon (294), Texas Tech and UCLA (296), BYU (297) and SDSU (298). The rest of the top-10 included Oklahoma (299), Furman and Texas (300) and UNLV (301). Iowa State was in 11th place at 304, with Kent State (305), Oregon State (306) and the Racers (307) making up the top-14. TCU was in 15th place at 308, with Georgetown (311), Richmond (324) and Sacred Heart (340) making up the field.

Leading the way for the Racers was Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year Moa Folke who had a spot in 26th place on the strength of a 2-over-par 72. Folke made seven-straight pars to finish her first nine and made two birdies coming in. Lucila Puente Rodiguez de Austria had a 76 and was in 36th place. Her round featured a pair of birdies. Linette Holmslykke carded a 78 and carded two birdies in the round. Raeysha Surendran had an eagle-two on the par-4 11th hole and posted a 78 to share 61st place with teammate Holmslykke. Anna Moore carded an 84 and was in 90th place.

Round One Notes
As expected, the Rawls Course offered a tough challenge the Racers. It’s the longest and has more wind than any they’ve played on this season, making it no surprise they were double-digit strokes above their 296.9 season average that was the best in the Ohio Valley Conference. No MSU player was able to match her season stroke average today.

The Racers weren’t without some bright spots though. Their 307 ties the program record in the four NCAA appearances MSU as made as they matched the 307 the 2014 team posted in the first round in 2014 in Tallahassee, Fla.

MSU is tied for ninth in the field of 18 teams with 48 pars, behind leader Arizona State who had 66.

MSU’s Puente Rodriguez was tied for second in the field of 96 players in playing the Rawls par-3 holes to 1-under-par today. Folke was tied for second on the par-4 holes at 1-under-par.

Surendran had one of the five eagles that posted today. The others came from Caroline Nistrup (LSU), Alex White (BYU), Gabby Barker (Texas Tech) and Petra Salko (Oregon).

Surendran and Puente Rodriguez were the only Racer players to make a birdie on a par-3 today. Surendran made one on the 3rd hole of 133 yards, while Puente Rodirguez had hers on the 6th hole of 173 yards.

The Racers are in the NCAA’s for the fourth time after winning the 10th Ohio Valley Conference title in program history. The Racers have been to NCAA play three times prior with appearances in 2009, 2010 and 2014.

To advance from the regional event to the NCAA finals, the Racers must improve on their No. 15 seed and finish in the top-6 of the 18-team field.

The Rawls Course is the longest the Racers have played this season at 6,593 yards. However, the par-72 layout is also at more than 3,000 feet above sea level.

The Racers’ fourth NCAA appearance marks a couple of firsts for the program that was started by Coach Milkman in the fall of 1993. This is the first time MSU has played in Texas and Lubbock is the farthest west they’ve ventured to play. Lubbock is 971 miles from Murray.

Dave Winder
Murray State Athletics – Assistant AD – Media Relation