May 20, 2014
TULSA, Okla. - Senior Allyssa Ferrell tied a Spartan single-round record at the NCAA Championships by shooting a 1-under-par 69 in the first round on Tuesday at the par-70, 6,194-yard Tulsa Country Club and is tied for fifth place on the individual leaderboard. Michigan State carded a 25-over 305 in the 24-team, 72-hole event and is tied for 16th place.
The Spartans were in the first group to tee off in the morning at 7:30 a.m. CDT, but still had to battle against steady 30 mph winds throughout their round.
"The conditions were tough," said MSU head coach Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll. "Most of the scores were pretty high today. I just think we have to manage the golf course better, that's the bottom line. There are some holes that when you get a bogey, you have to walk away and just be happy with it because there are some tough holes. You have to think about every move you're going to make on this course."
Ferrell was remarkably consistent, recording two birdies and 15 pars against just one bogey. Her round of 69 tied Caroline Powers in 2011 and Christine Meier last year for the lowest 18-hole score by a Spartan at the NCAA Championships.
"You just have to be a little smarter," Ferrell said of playing in the wind. "Personally it requires a lot more thinking and taking your time, slow down, think everything through and don't rush anything. It just requires different shots every once in a while that you have to be prepared for, even in a crosswind. There were a lot of holes where normally I would be hitting a three and I got to hit a five-iron today, but you just have to think those through."
"Allyssa played awesome," Slobodnik-Stoll said, as Ferrell is just two shots off the pace. "She did feel like she left a couple of putts out there. She's at an advantage because she hits it lower. She's very confident in what she's doing and we're very happy for her. We hope she continues and after day three, can put herself in a position to win a national title."
Senior Liz Nagel posted the second-best round of the day for MSU with a 6-over 76 (38-38). Nagel had two birdies and was 3-over through 15, but bogeyed each of the last three holes; she is tied for 54th place.
In her first round at nationals, freshman Kelly Grassel was 7-over-par on the front nine, but bounced back and was 1-over on the last nine holes to close at 78 (42-36). Grassel birdied the par-4 10th and went on to collect six more pars against two bogeys to finish out her round.
Oklahoma leads the field after one day with an 8-over 288, while three players are tied atop the individual leaderboard after shooting a 3-under 67.
Michigan State will tee off at 11:50 a.m. CDT from hole No. 10 for Wednesday's second round; live scoring is available for the entire tournament at NCAA.com.