May 8, 2009–TEMPE, Ariz. – The UNLV women's golf team had a difficult open to its seventh consecutive regional and is tied for 13th place following Thursday’s first round of the NCAA West Regional, which is being played at the ASU Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Ariz. The Rebels shot an opening-round 299 (+11) and they face an uphill battle with two rounds to go to move into the top eight and earn a berth to the NCAA Championships, but head coach Missy Ringler is confident her team can do just that. “We were disappointed in our score today, and we lost eight shots to water hazards,” Ringler said. “The team knows it has to play its best over the next two days to get back into contention and we will be ready to play tomorrow.” The top 8 teams advance to the NCAA Finals.
Leading the 21-team field after the first round is No. 1 Arizona State, which capitalized on playing its home course by shooting a scorching 15-under 273 as a team to jump out to a commanding 15-shot lead over a trio of schools that shot even par. The Sun Devils have four players in the top six with sub-par opening rounds, while Belen Mozo of USC has the overall individual lead with a 6-under 66.
A rookie is pacing UNLV, as freshman Bethany Glassford, from Las Vegas and pictured, shot a 1-over 73 and is currently tied for 32nd after one round of play, and her round featured three birdies and four bogies. Natasha Krishna and Alejandra Guacaneme both shot 3-over 76 and are tied for 54th, Therese Koelbaek shot a 4-over 76 and is tied for 67th while Kristen Schelling shot an 8-over 80 and is tied for 96th.
UNLV is part of a field of 21 teams and three individuals that features eight teams in Golfweek's latest top 25 that also includes No. 3 USC, No. 10 LSU, No. 13 Pepperdine, No. 16 Arkansas, No. 17 San Jose Staten, No. 20 Arizona and No. 25 Cal. UNLV's best finish in a NCAA Regional tournament came in 2004, when the Rebels finished second in the East Regional to Duke. Last year the Rebels finished third in the NCAA West Region and earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament, the third berth in school history to the national championships.
Friday’s second round gets underway at 7:00 a.m. (PT) on the par-72, 6,230-yard course 7:00 a.m. on holes 1 and 10, and fans can follow the action live by going to www.unlvrebels.com. The top eight teams and top two individuals not on qualifying teams from each regional advance to the NCAA Championships, scheduled for May 19-22 at the Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Maryland.
Report: Bryan Haines, UNLV Sports Information.