STATE COLLEGE, PA -- Texas A&M sophomore Katerina Ruzickova opened with a 5-under-par 67 on Thursday to lead the 12th-ranked Aggies into a tie for fourth place after the first round of the NCAA Women’s Golf East Regional at Penn State’s Blue Course.
Ruzickova’s score was the lowest of the day, the lowest of her career and it set a new school record for lowest single round by an Aggie in postseason play.
From Ostrava, Czech Republic, Ruzickova had four birdies on the first nine to turn in 32. She added two more birdies at the 5th and 7th and had just one dropped shot on the 8th to card a 67 and lead the nearest competitor by a stroke.
No. 25 South Carolina turned in an even-par 288 to take a four shot lead over No. 2 Alabama (+4, 292) going into Friday’s second round. No. 15 Florida is in third place with a 6-over 294.
The Aggies’ 8-over 296 has them tied for fourth with Washington and Texas.
Tulane is seventh with 298 and No. 20 Oklahoma State (299) is eighth followed by No. 24 Michigan State (300), UCF (301), No. 8 Duke (302), No. 18 Arizona (302), Maryland (303), No. 5 Arizona State (303), Wake Forest (304), Northwestern (305), Kent State (306), San Diego State (311), Augusta State (311), Chattanooga (311), Campbell (313), Jacksonville St. (314), Long Island (324) and Oral Roberts (327).
The top eight teams and two individuals from each of the three regionals advance to the NCAA Championship May 22-25 at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn.
A&M’s Mary Michael Maggio shot a 2-over 74 and is tied for 24th. She was even on the front nine, but shot two-over on the back. The junior had 14 pars, one birdie and three bogeys.
Sophomore Natalie Reeves is tied for 51st with a 4-over 76, while freshman Patricia Garcia and junior Sarah Beth Davis are tied for 89th with 79s.
“What a great round by Kat,” A&M head coach Trelle McCombs said. “Unfortunately, I didn't get to see very much of it because I was with other players most of the day. We just need to have a fourth score and we will be fine. It was unfortunate that Sarah and Patty had off days on the same day, but I look for them to snap back tomorrow. We are in a good spot, we just need to keep thinking about our process and focus on our routine.”
Tomorrow, the Aggies remain paired with Florida and Arizona and tee off from hole 1 beginning at 11:56 a.m. (CT).
The NCAA East Regional concludes on Saturday.