Lady Tigers in Fifth After First Round of C-USA Championship
April 18, 2005
GERMANTOWN, Tenn. - A 2-over par performance from Kathryn O'Rourke helped the University of Memphis women's golf team finish the first round of the Conference USA Championship in fifth place on Monday.
"This morning I told the team if we can finish in the top five in the first day, we're in a great position," said Memphis head coach Jenny Bruun. "We're accomplishing some goals and beating people that we're not supposed to beat. We're showing everyone, including ourselves, that we belong and that we can compete."
Playing on their home turf at the Germantown Country Club, the Tigers shot a 311 (+23) to finish 17 strokes behind tournament leading TCU (294, +6). O'Rourke, a sophomore from Holmes, New York, scored an opening round 74 on the par 72 course to end the day tied for seventh individually.
"I felt good," O'Rourke said. "I've been hitting very well lately. I haven't traveled the last couple of tournaments, but I finally got my game back. Today I was just so up and down. I birdied a hole and then I'd double the next one, so I just kept fighting. It was just a tough 74. I worked every shot."
Only six golfers in the field of 50 shot a better first round score with South Florida's Fernanda Rivera leading the pack with a 2-under 70. O'Rourke said the best thing working for her was her putter, especially down the stretch. From 40 feet out on No. 14, O'Rourke nailed the putt for a birdie.
The Tigers began the tournament well with Bernie Rosero chipping in two tough shots for birdies on holes two and five. The junior from Ecuador shot a 1-under 35 in the front nine before settling for a 6-over-par 78 after the grueling back side. Rosero is tied for 19th place individually.
"The back side is a little bit tighter," Bruun said. "We just made some mistakes and missed some shots. We had a couple of doubles and some triples in there and that can increase your score pretty fast. Overall I'm super proud of my team and the way they came out. This is definitely as a whole the best we've played this golf course at the same time."
After medaling at the Lady Eagle Invitational, sophomore Stacey Tate struggled to find her normal groove in the opening round of the conference tournament. Tate shot an 8-over 80 to finish the day in a tie for 30th place.
"She didn't play that bad; she just didn't score very well," Bruun said of Tate. "She had a couple shots that didn't go where she wanted them to. Her misses aren't really that bad. She just didn't get the breaks that she's used to getting, and that happens with golf."
Rounding out the Lady Tigers lineup, sophomore Meghan Mahoney shot a 79 (7+) and sophomore Cameron Barber scored an 81 (9+). O'Rourke said the team played well in the opening round but she looks for even better scores Tuesday on a course all five Memphis players know better than anyone.
"It was nice playing out here," O'Rourke said. "This was probably the best I've played on this course, and I've played it several times. Finally I figured it out and worked it out. I love it when my mom is here to watch me play. I love a crowd. It's weird, but I like the pressure. I like to get the crowd excited and entertain and entertain myself as well."
O'Rourke will have another opportunity to impress the home crowd as she leads the Lady Tigers into the second round of the C-USA Championship on Tuesday. The opening tee time begins at 8 a.m. with Memphis beginning at 9:30. The final round of the tournament will be on Wednesday.
2005 C-USA Women's Championship Germantown CC Germantown, TN Dates: 04/18 - 04/20 (Today:04-18-2005) Par: 72 Yardage: 6178