HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – Placing three individuals among the top 10, the UNCG women's golf team stands in second place after Sunday's first round of the 54-hole Southern Conference championship at Moss Creek Golf Club.
The Spartans, at 311 total, are eight shots behind Chattanooga in pursuit of their first SoCon title. The program has finished second in six of its 13 previous appearances in the event and has been in the top half of the field on six other occasions.
UNCG entered the tournament ranked 123rd nationally by golfstat.com. The Spartans' opening-round performance exceeded the play of four teams with higher national ratings: No. 62 Furman; No. 72 Western Carolina; No. 84 College of Charleston; and No. 122 Elon.
Begona Sarabia, Ana Lucia Martinez and Erica Creed all shot 5-over-par 77s over the 6,005-yard layout as UNCG earned its best relative standing after any full round of a tournament this spring. The Spartans lead the College of Charleston by one and Furman, the fourth-place occupant, by seven.
Sarabia, Martinez and Creed are among six players tied for fifth place; they're three shots behind Emma de Groot of Chattanooga, the leader at the one-third mark.
Play resumes Monday and concludes Tuesday.
SOUTHERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
Moss Creek Golf Club (Par-72, 6,005 yards)
Hilton Head Island, S.C.
1. Chattanooga 303; 2. UNCG 311; 3. College of Charleston 313; 4. Furman 320; 5. Elon 321; T6. Samford 323; T6. Western Carolina 323; 8. Appalachian State 331; 9. Wofford College 332; 10. Citadel 346.
Top 10: 1. Emma de Groot (Chattanooga) 74; T2. Rumbidzai Masamvu (App) 75; T2. Martyna Mierzwa (Elon) 75; T2. Christine Wolf (Chattanooga) 75; T5. Marion Duvernay (Chattanooga) 77; T5. Jordan Britt (Chattanooga) 77; T5. Begona Sarabia (UNCG) 77; T5. Ainhoa Nogales (College of Charleston) 77; T5. Ana Lucia Martinez (UNCG) 77; T5. Erica Creed (UNCG) 77.
- UNCG -