Hall 10th at A-Sun Championships; Spartans 6th
New Smyrna Beach, Fla. – Sophomore Amanda Hall opened the 2012 A-Sun Women's Golf Championship at Venetian Bay Golf Club Monday with a solid 3-over-par 75 and is tied for 10th individually to the lead USC Upstate cause in the first round of the tournament. Hall's effort allowed Upstate to finish the first round in sixth place.
Hall (Tega Cay, S.C.) began the round with a bogey and dropped two more strokes to par on the front nine to go out in 39. However, she was simply solid on the back nine, shooting even-par to finish with a 3-over 75 for the round. She is tied for 10th with three other players."
Amanda has been hitting the ball so well and is so confident with her new clubs," said Upstate head coach Todd Lawton. "The last few rounds she has played have showcased her talent and I am proud of her. She is focused on strong personal goals for this championship and really wants to help the team."
Upstate opened the tournament with a 316, marking the third time in the last four rounds that the Spartans have broken 320. It also marked the third-lowest round shot by the Spartans in the A-Sun Championships and the best since shooting 310 at the 2010 tournament. Upstate is one stroke ahead of Jacksonville (317), three ahead of Belmont (319) and five ahead of Lipscomb (321) heading to the second round on Tuesday.
"I'm excited that we played a good round and, especially, stayed mentally tough during the last third of the round," said Lawton. "Everyone is hitting the ball well and they have worked hard practicing pitching and putting, which is what this course is all about. There is not a lot of trouble off the tee. As a group, we are looking forward to getting back out on the course tomorrow."
ETSU opened the tournament with a 290 to take the lead after the first round. Kennesaw State is second at 292 and is followed in the top five by Stetson (293), Mercer (298) and Florida Gulf Coast (312).
Taylor Pleier (Spartanburg) and Marissa Clontz (Greenville, S.C.) each shot 80 to finish as the second-lowest Spartans on the day. Pleier shot 40 on both nines, while Clontz rallied to shoot 37 on the back nine with a pair of birdies to shoot her score. The two are tied for 29th.
"Marissa's back nine was terrific," said Lawton. "She struggled with putts on the front nine, but adjusted nicely at the turn. She is a competitor for sure and her efforts really made the difference for us."
Playing in her first A-Sun Championships, freshman Brittany Lowe (Spartanburg) was one back of Pleier and Clontz, finishing the day with an 81. She is tied for 34th. Fellow freshman Kristi Goodman (Easley, S.C.) carded an 86 and is tied for 42nd.
"Brittany and Taylor played nearly great rounds today," said Lawton. "Each one had one bad hole that kept them from scoring much lower."
ETSU's Gabriella Wahl shot a 67 to open the tournament to take the first round lead. She will start the second round three strokes ahead of two players at 2-under-par.