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May 20, 2014

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Tulsa, Okla. – The No. 18 Virginia women’s golf team is tied for 13th place after the opening round of play at the NCAA Championships being held at the Tulsa Country Club in Tulsa, Okla. The Cavaliers shot 23-over 303 in extremely windy conditions that created havoc for almost every team in the field.

Oklahoma grabbed the first-round lead, shooting 8-over 288. The seventh-ranked Sooners are three shots in front of No. 2 UCLA. Three teams – No. 3 Duke, No. 1 USC and No. 5 Arizona State – are tied for third at 293. The individual lead is shared by USC’s Doris Chen, Denver’s Tonje Daffinrud and Stanford’s Lauren Kim. They all shot 3-under 67.

Virginia was led during the first round by freshman Lauren Diaz-Yi, who shot 1-over 71. She completed the first day of play in 11th place.

Diaz-Yi used birdies on No. 7 and No. 9 to complete her opening nine holes at even par. She came to the 18th hole at 1-under, but ended her round with a double bogey.

“I think Lauren is a player that thrives on the big tournaments like this,” said Virginia coach Kim Lewellen. “She’s a good wind player, so this is her type of course, her type of competition and her type of conditions.”

Diaz-Yi, who won the United States Golf Association’s Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship last summer in Norman, Okla., readily agreed with her coach.

“I love playing in the wind,” said Diaz-Yi, a native of Thousand Oaks, Calif. “I know a lot of people don’t but it just makes it more challenging to me. I like playing in bad weather. Anything that is not just sunny and nice, I don’t mind at all. I like the challenge. It tests your mental game.

Like having your baseball cap and sunglasses blown off your head while addressing a putt on the 17th green.

“That was certainly interesting,” Diaz-Yi said. “I’ve never had that happen before when I was putting. I was worried my sun glasses were going to hit the ball, so I flicked them out of the way really quick.”

UVa senior Portland Rosen (Sugar Land, Texas) ended the first day in 54th place after shooting 76. Sophomore Lauren Coughlin (Chesapeake, Va.) is in 70th place at 77, Briana Mao (Folsom, Calif.) is 91st at 79 and senior Elizabeth Brightwell (Nellysford, Va.) is 116th at 82.

“The conditions were crazy with wind gusts up to 35 miles per hour and continuous wind at 20 miles per hour,” Lewellen said. “You really don’t know what your ball is going to do after you hit it. You have to play the best you can on each hole. Overall, I thought we performed well.”

The 72-hole tournament runs through Friday. Virginia will tee off starting at 1:56 p.m. ET from the No. 10 hole during Wednesday’s second round of play.

NCAA Women's Golf ChampionshipsTulsa, Okla.Tulsa Country ClubPar-70, 6,194 yardsFirst Round Results
Team Results
1. Oklahoma 288 2. UCLA 291 3. Duke 293 3. USC 293 3. Arizona State 293 6. California 296 7. Arizona 298 8. Washington 299 8. Ohio State 29910. Stanford 30011. South Carolina 30112. Mississippi State 30213. Tulane 30313. Vanderbilt 30313. Virginia 30316. Alabama 30516. Florida 30516. Texas A&M 30516. Campbell 30516. Michigan State 30516. Northwestern 30522. Iowa State 30623. NC State 30724. Kansas 313
Individual Leaders1. Doris Chen, USC 671. Tonje Daffinrud, Denver 671. Lauren Kim, Stanford 674. Alexandra Kaui, Oklahoma 685. Allyssa Ferrell, Michigan State 695. Noemi Jimenez, Arizona State 695. Kaylin Yost, Campbell 69
Virginia Results 11. Lauren Diaz-Yi 71 54. Portland Rosen 76 70. Lauren Coughlin 77 91. Briana Mao 79116. Elizabeth Brightwell 82="http:>="http:>="http:>="http:>="http:>
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