May 20, 2008
ALBUQUERQUE, NM –
Florida State junior All-America Caroline Westrup shot an even par 72 and is in a tie for 15th place in the individual standings one round of the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship at the University New Mexico’s Champions Course. Westrup is only five strokes behind Nanette Hill of Wake Forest who shot a career-best and course record five-under par 68 over the first 18 holes of the 54 holes tournament.
Westrup, the nation’s 13th ranked women’s collegiate player, played a very consistent round as she was even par on both the front nine with two birdies and two bogeys and even par on the back nine with one birdie and one bogey. She carded a birdie on her final hole of the round to finish at even par. He score of 72 is tied for her best single-round score in nine career NCAA Championship rounds and is her the best first round score of her career.
“I hit the ball long and played well today,” said Westrup. “I hit only a couple of bad shots and those where on the holes which I bogeyed. My putting was good and consistent during the entire round. I feel that I could have finished with a better score but that is okay. I feel that I have set myself up for the rest of the tournament with my play in the first round.”
Westrup is competing as one of six individuals in the event for the second consecutive season. She finished in a tie for 11th place last season which ranks as the highest finish by a Seminole women’s golfer in the NCAA finals. Westrup is competing as an individual in championship and playing to win the first individual championship in the sport of women’s golf at Florida State. She has three rounds and 54 holes remaining to make up the stroke difference, move into the lead and earn a shot at being crowned the national champion.
No. 2 ranked Southern California holds the first round lead after carding a team total of 284. The Women of Troy are five strokes ahead of Auburn in the team race. Southern Cal was the only team who finished the first round at or below par in the team standings. A total of 22 players, including Westrup, finished the first round at or below par.
What hole/holes played the easiest for you today?
“I would not say that any hole is easy on this golf course. It depends where you put yourself on the green. It is really important to be on the right side of the pin on each hole. I was hitting the ball really well today. I was on the pin – just to the right or to the left and pin high – pretty much all day. When I missed a shot I missed it long. But, no I wouldn’t say that any hole is easy.”
Which hole/holes were the most challenging for you?
“The toughest hole for me was hole No. 6; that is a tough hole. If you miss a fairway in this course the rough if thick and tough to get out of. You had a hard time getting the ball out of the rough. On hole No. 6 there is a huge tree hanging out on the left side. You need to be perfect on your tee shot to be able to go for the pin or the green. I had a tough tee shot on that hole; it was a little left and it kicked almost into the water. I had the whole tree in front of me so I couldn’t go for the green. So I chipped out and went for the green after that. Holes No. 1 and 2 are two key holes as well. If you start off well on those two holes that is really important to the rest of your round.”
Did the weather give you any problems in round one?
“No, not really. It was pretty warm today probably a high of 95 degrees. It was not that windy this morning but I think it will be windy on the course during the afternoon rounds. It’s going to be real, real windy tomorrow. The winds are expected to blow at about 40 miles per hour because there is a storm coming in for three days. It’s going to be tough but I feel that I am a ball striker and it is gong to be good for me with the wind. The wind didn’t affect my round that much.”
Will your strategy tomorrow be different than it was today?
“Yes, I am gong to probably think more about the wind but we don’t know how hard the wind is going to be or from what direction it is going to be so I can’t ell you know of what my strategy is going to be.”
What was your best shot of the day?
“My best shot of the day was the wedge I hit on the last hole. I had about 72 yards to the pin and was hitting a down hill lie. It hit the shot to about two feet and I thought I almost made the shot.”
What are your impressions of the scores in the first round?
“I know that the best score is minus five by one of the players from Wake Forest but I don’t know very many of the other scores. That’s a good score out there today. The pins placements were easy so that is a good sore for today. I feel that I could have easily shot that that score.”
What is the most scenic hole on the course?
“They all pretty much look a like because we are up on a mountain. You very much see the same view on every hole. I would say No. 4 is a pretty hole. I feel like that is the highest point on the course and you are able to see the entire city of Albuquerque and the backside of many of the greens on the course. You can also see all of the big houses and the mountains in the area.”