Spartans in First Place After Round One of the NCAA Athens Regional
Three Spartans are in the top seven as MSU is the only school to shoot under par on Monday.
ATHENS, Georgia - The Michigan State women's golf team leads the NCAA Athens Regional after shooting an opening-round 4-under-par 284 at the University of Georgia Golf Course on Monday. The Spartans were the only school in the 18-team regional to shoot under par on Monday at the par 72, 6,334-yard course. MSU is five strokes ahead of the nation's second ranked team, Alabama, which shot a 1-over-par 289.
The 284 marks the Spartans' second-lowest round ever at an NCAA Regional, just one stroke shy of the 283 put up by MSU in the third round of the 2012 NCAA East Regional.
"We did great job today and when you have a high level of confidence and believe in yourself and each other out on the course, that makes it easier," MSU head coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll said. "When you have teammates that are making birdies and going under par, it drives you to be even better."
Burnham, the Big Ten Player of the Year, led the Spartans on Monday with a 3-under-par 69 and is tied for second place.
After a bogey on her second hole of the day, the par-4 11th, Burnham birdied five of the next seven holes and was 3-under-par at the turn. She finished the day birdying two of the final four holes en route to carding her sixth round this season in the 60s.
Sharp is currently in fifth place after a 2-under-par 70. Sharp was 1-over-par after halfway through her round before using four birdies on the back nine to record her second-lowest score of the season.
The Spartans were also aided in a big way on Monday by Marfa Sans, who shot a career-best 1-under-par 71 and is tied for seventh place. Marfa Sans had a steady second half of her round as she recorded four birdies over her final 11 holes and parred the other seven.
"I'm really happy for Paz," Slobodnik-Stoll said. "She's such a wonderful young person; you just have to give her so much credit. She works so hard and it's all coming together for her."
Fellow rookie Allyson Geer finished day one with a 2-over-par 74, going 1-over-par on both the front and back nine, and is slotted in a tie for 24th place.
Sophomore Carolyn Markley shot a 4-over-par 76 and is tied for 38th place.
Jennifer Kupcho of Wake Forest leads the tournament by one stroke over Burnham after a 4-under-par 68.
Round two of the 54-hole NCAA Athens Regional will get underway Tuesday morning. The Spartans will start their day on the first hole, beginning to tee off at 9:12 a.m.
"We're just continuing along with the game plan," Slobodnik-Stoll said. "(Assistant coach) Caroline Powers has played this course so many times and I've walked it even more times, so that is a big help."