Freshman Jessica Welch carded a three-over par 75 as the Jacksonville women’s golf team sits in seventh place after the first round of the 2012 Atlantic Sun Conference Championship on the par 72 Venitian Bay Golf Club.
The Dolphins were unable to take advantage of the scoring conditions, shooting a 29-over par, 317. They are five shots behind Florida Gulf Coast for fifth place and one shot behind USC Upstate for sixth.
ETSU leads the competition at two-over par, 290, led by Gabriella Wahl’s five-under par, 67. Wahl leads the individual competition by three shots over Stetson’s Alex Buelow and Kennesaw State’s Ket Preamchuen.
“Jessica got off to a good start and was able to put together a good round today,” said JU head coach Ashley Prange. “We didn’t get off to a good start, but we didn’t quit and did much better on the back nine.”
Welch got hot early, putting up birdies at Nos. 2 and 3 to get 2-under par. A double bogey at the par-5 fifth wiped those shots out, but a bounce-back birdie at the sixth got her back into red numbers. Her front nine ended with a bogey on the par-4 eighth, making the turn at even-par.
On the back nine, Welch had three bogeys – Nos. 12, 13 and 18 to post a 75. She is tied for 10th, eight shots out of the individual lead.
Francesca Yong carded a six-over par 78, going two-over par on the front nine, to sit in a tie for 21st. Natalie Schmett and Morgan Jackson each carded a 10-over par, 82, to tie for 36th. Carlie Gehlhausen carded a 14-over par, 86, and is tied for 42nd.
The Dolphins will tee off at 8 a.m. in the first group off with Belmont and Lipscomb.