The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s golf team tumbled down the leaderboard during Thursday’s morning session of the NCAA Central Regional.
But the Mocs climbed without playing a stroke in the afternoon as their morning score turned out to be in the top third of the 24-team field.
They shot a 15-over-par 303 and are in eighth place — the cut line to advance to the NCAA championship tournament — after their first round at Warren Golf Course in South Bend, Ind.
UCLA leads the tournament at 291, and LSU at 295 and Notre Dame at 298 are second and third. UTC is one shot behind Duke, Stanford and Northwestern, after playing one shot better than Kent State and three better than Texas and Ohio State.
Junior Maria Juliana Loza led the Mocs with a 1-over 73 that included one birdie and two bogeys. She is tied for 11th place in the medalist race.
“It was a great day overall for Maju,” coach Colette Murray said in a school release. “You talk about a winner. She was marching her way around the golf course. It was fun to watch.”
Senior Christine Wolf shot 75, senior Emma de Groot shot 77, freshman Marion Duvernay shot 78 and freshman Jordan Britt — who prepped at GPS and Signal Mountain — had the drop score.
“I’m really proud of Maju and Christine,” Murray said. “Both played great on their second nines. Christine had a rough end to her front side with a double [bogey] on 18. A lot of players would have let it get away from them, but she stayed true to her game and really keyed our turnaround.”
In the East Regional, former Baylor School star Brooke Pancake of Alabama shot an even-par 72, which has her tied for 11th. The Crimson Tide are in second place at 1 under, one shot behind Coastal Carolina, at the LPGA International Legends Course in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Tennessee is third in the West Regional at 4 over, two shots behind Virginia and four behind Southern Cal at Washington National Golf Club in Auburn, Wash.
David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...