FRANKLIN, Tenn.— Alabama finished the opening round by grabbing a two-stroke lead over Virginia, and Portland Rosen shot a Cavaliers’ school-record 6-under-par 66 in near perfect conditions in the morning to lead the individual standings Tuesday at the NCAA Division I women’s golf championship.
The Crimson Tide, ranked second nationally by GolfStat, finished with 2-under 286 led by 4-under by senior Brooke Pancake. But Alabama only finished with the lead after Elizabeth Brightwell, of Virginia, was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard about three hours after finishing her round. She signed for 71 instead of 72, putting down 4 on the par-4 4th instead of 5.
“I feel bad for her, I feel bad for them a great group of kids and coaches,” Alabama coach Mick Potter said.
“As a coach, it just scares me to death whenever they walk out of that tent. So you know in a regular-season tournament you can kind of handle it here. Out here, it’s just so important and they just have to be careful. We talk to them about it all the time, and hopefully everybody else learns from that mistake and just a little bit more attentive to what they’re doing when they walk out of there.”
That turned Virginia’s 6-under 282 total with a four-stroke lead at the time over Louisiana State University to even par 288 when Brightwell’s 72 was dropped for Briana Mao’s 77.
The 288 still is a school best for Virginia in the Cavaliers’ sixth NCAA championship in the program’s nine years. Brightwell was alerted to the possible miscue as the team was preparing to leave the course and found it when re-checking her score.
“I feel bad for Elizabeth,” Virginia coach Kim Lewellen said through a team spokesman. “I feel bad for our team. But we’ve just got to go out and play.”
Duke was third after 1-over 289 followed by North Carolina (290). Defending champ UCLA shot 4-under 292, and Vanderbilt struggled on its own course with 306 that tied the Commodores for 22nd.
Rosen’s career-low round gave her the lead by a stroke over Purdue’s Laura Gonzalez (67). Catherine O’Donnell, of North Carolina, and Pancake tied for third after shooting 68s. Duke’s Lindy Duncan, the nation’s top-ranked golfer, was tied for ninth with after 70.
A year ago, Brittany Altomare, of Virginia, held the individual lead after the first round. Rosen is Virginia’s fifth-seeded golfer, had shot under par only once in 24 rounds this year.