SUNSET BEACH, N.C. - The Saint Leo women's golf team shot three-over 291 as a team in the opening round of the Myrtle Beach Intercollegiate, setting a new program record for a single round total. The previous single round low came at the Great Smokies Intercollegiate in the fall of 2010 when the Lions posted a round total of 299. The Lions sit alone in first place going into Tuesday's final round.
"You could tell in the practice round that the girls really liked the course and that it set up well for our game," Head Coach Erika Brennan said. "I'm ecstatic that the girls took advantage if that today, setting a new school record is phenomenal and it is a testament to their hard work thus far in the season. One round, however, does not make or break a season. Will will need to work even harder going forward to sustain this pace."
The Lions' record-breaking opening round positions them well for the final round of the tournament, as they sit 15 strokes ahead of second place Lincoln Memorial, who shot a 306. In third place, with a score of 313, is Queens University of Charlotte.
Leading all Lions was Lauren Petty, who fired a 72 and currently sits tied atop the individual leaderboard. Petty, who highlighted her round with an eagle on the 11th hole, becomes the seventh different player in program history to post a single round of 72 or lower. Just one stroke behind Petty were Laura Huertas, Ragna Olafsdottir, and Clare Connolly, posting scores of one-over 73. Olafsdottir capped off her round with an eagle of her own on the 18th hole. Huertas, Olafsdottir, and Connolly all enter the final round tied for fourth place. Rounding out the Lions was Heather Petronis, who carded a 78 and is currently tied for 17th.
"I was very excited to play in this tournament today. It was just one of those days where I really wanted to play," Petty said. "I knew I had to stay relaxed with a good attitude to play well. I started out with a par, and then eagled my next hole, which gave me some great momentum to continue my round. I think the team did great and everyone had the same attitude going in of wanting to play great. I'm very proud of everyone's great play."
"The great scores that were posted today came from our hard work," Petronis, the team's captain, said. "I'm so proud of the girls for taking it low!"
If the Lions post a final round score of 314 or less, they will break the program record for a 36-hole tournament, 606, which came at the Great Smokies Invitational in the fall of 2010.
The team hits the links again tomorrow morning for the final round of the tournament.
For a look at the women's golf record book, click here.