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May 22, 2015

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Bradenton, Fla. – The 10th-ranked Virginia women’s golf team opened play at the NCAA Championships at the Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla., but the Cavaliers will have to wait until Saturday morning to know their standing after the first 18 holes of play. The 12 teams competing in the afternoon session did not complete play due to a pair of weather delays because of lighting in the area. Play was officially suspended at 7:15 p.m.

At the time competition stopped, UVa was one of three teams that had completed the first round that were tied for 16th place at 21-over 309. That tied as the sixth best score for the 12 teams that teed off Friday morning.

Junior Elizabeth Szokol (Winnetka, Ill.) led Virginia with an opening round score of 4-over 76. Sophomore Lauren Diaz-Yi (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) shot 77 while junior Lauren Coughlin (Chesapeake, Va.) and Briana Mao (Folsom, Calif.) both finished with 78s. Freshman Lyberty Anderson (Chesterfield, Va.) carded a score of 79.

UVa’s team score was its highest of the season, eclipsing the first-round total of 20-over 308 the Cavaliers posted during the opening round of the NCAA Regional in St. George, Utah. UVa rebounded in that tournament to post rounds of 296 and 294 to advance to the NCAA Championships.

“Having played the course yesterday (practice round) and today, our targets were a little off, especially from the tee today,” said Virginia coach Kim Lewellen. “We’ll move those targets for the second round and I think we can save some strokes with that approach. I think we can play better and score better. We’re not in the best position, but we’re in a place to move up and make the cut.”

Duke posted the best round among the first wave of teams, shooting 5-over 293. Top-ranked USC had the next best score at 9-over 297.

Team scoring was high at the Concession Golf Club, which features large undulating greens surrounded by bunker complexes. The course’s landing zones are generous, but like many Florida courses, water is featured on many holes.

“Patience and game planning are what you need out here,” Lewellen said. “You need to play each hole and then put it behind you. You need to really think through the game and take good looks at the greens on your approach shots. There is a lot of strategy involved in this golf course. I think the more we play it the better we will get.”

Following 54-holes of stroke play the top 15 teams, along with the top nine individuals not on an advancing teams, will compete in a fourth round of stroke play to determine the top eight teams for the match play competition and the 72-hole stroke-play individual champion.

The top eight teams after 72 holes of stroke play will be placed into a bracket for the match play portion of the tournament, which takes place Tuesday (quarterfinals and semifinals) and Wednesday (finals).

With the delayed first round, the Cavaliers are slated to start their second round at 2:36 p.m. on Saturday, 90 minutes behind their original starting time.

Virginia is making its eighth appearance at the NCAA Championships in the program’s 12-year history. The Cavaliers finished fifth at the NCAA Regional in St. George, Utah after winning the program’s first ACC title earlier this season.

NCAA Championships
Bradenton, Fla.
Concession Golf Club
Par 72, 6,468 yards
First Round Results

Team Results 1. Stanford         +3 2. Duke            293 3. Baylor           +7 4. USC             297 5. Arizona         300 6. Northwestern    +13 6. Washington      301 6. Tennessee       301 6. Alabama         +1310. NC State        +1410. Campbell        +1410. Purdue          +1413. UNLV            +1714. UC Davis        +1915. South Carolina  30816. California      +2116. Virginia        30916. LSU             30916. Texas A&M       30920. Wake Forest     31020. Tulane          +2220. Arkansas        31023. Texas Tech      +2624. UCLA            319Note: Scores for teams that did not complete their first round are listed against par (288).
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