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Salinas Leads Seminoles At NCAA Central Regional
Maria Salinas is one stroke out of first place at the NCAA Central Regional Championship.

Maria Salinas is one stroke out of first place at the NCAA Central Regional Championship.

May 10, 2012

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (seminoles.com) - Florida State senior Maria Salinas is in a tie for second place in the individual standings and the Seminole women's golf team is in 12th place in the team standings after the first round of the NCAA Central Regional Championship on the Scarlet Course at The Ohio State University Golf Club. Salinas is just one stroke out of the individual lead and the Seminoles are only six strokes out of eighth place with two rounds remaining to be played in the event. The top eight teams and the top three individuals not on one of the top eight teams will advance to the NCAA Championships at the Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn., May 22-25, 2012.

No. 3 ranked and top seeded Southern California holds the first round lead with a team score of 298. The Ladies of Troy are one stroke ahead of No. 9 ranked and third seeded Georgia. Southern Cal and Georgia were the only two teams who broke the 300 stroke barrier in the first round. Marina Alex of Purdue holds the individual lead after the first round; she has a one stroke lead over Salinas and Paula Reto of Purdue.

"I am very proud of Maria who navigated the course well while playing in some very tough weather conditions," said head coach Amy Bond. "The wind blew pretty hard and it was quite chilly when we teed off this morning but Maria's took a very mature approach to what the course and the weather threw at her during the round. She knew going in that the conditions were not ideal and she didn't let them bother her. Maria is in a good position after one round with a lot of golf remaining to be played."

Salinas (Lima, Peru), who is playing in her fourth career NCAA Regional Championship, was nearly flawless in the first round as she carded 17 holes at par or better with two birdies and 15 holes at par. Her only hole scored above par was a bogey five on the par four hole No. 16. Salinas's score was never above par and she was below par for the majority of the round. She birdied her third hole of the round and finished the round with 11 consecutive holes at par or better with one birdie.

Salinas is looking for her best career regional championship finish and had begun this event with her best regional score. Her previous best score in a regional championship was an even par 72 at the 2009 NCAA Central Regional Championship while she was a freshman member of the team at UT Chattanooga. Salinas's best career regional finish came in 2011 at the NCAA East Regional Championship when she finished in a tie for sixth place in the individual standings. She lost in a one hole playoff in her bid to earn the third and final individual spot in the 2011 national championships field.

"I feel like I played well but as a team leader I have to work with my teammates to help get them in to a groove for the remainder of the tournament," said Salinas. "I have to stay within my game and not get frustrated during the next two rounds and I think we will be in good shape. The best thing I can do for my team now is be a leader and a good teammate. If I can do that well we will certainly have the ability to move up in the standings. That's the goal - improved play as a team."

Salinas was followed by junior Jessica Negron on the Seminoles' leaderboard. Negron is in a tie for 68th place after finishing with a score of 80. She carded two birdies and seven holes scored at par.

"We have put ourselves in a tough position, but by no means are we out of this," said Bond. "We have been here before this season and have played our way back into contention in a couple of tournaments. We have learned to play with our backs against the wall too many times this season but have always risen to the occasion. Now that we have our bad round out of our system, I fully expect us to make a run at qualifying for nationals in the next two days."

Florida State will tee off at 12:20 on Friday in the second round

2012 NCAA Central Regional Championship/May 10-12, 2012/First Round Florida State Results
Scarlet Course at The Ohio State University/Columbus, Ohio/Par 72
14/28.  Florida State      314
T2.     Maria Salinas      71
T68.    Jessica Negron     80
T78.    Malin Jansson      81
T91.    Laure Castelain    82
T101.   Hannah Thomson     83

2012 NCAA Central Regional Championship/May 10-12, 2012/First Round Team Results
Scarlet Course at The Ohio State University/Columbus, Ohio/Par 72
1.    Southern Cal      298   T12.  Arkansas            310
2.    Georgia           299   14.   Florida State       314
3.    Purdue            301   T15.  Ole Miss            315
4.    Notre Dame        304   T15.  Harvard             315
T5.   Tennessee         306   T15.  Michigan            315
T5.   Auburn            306   18.   Texas San Antonio   317
7.    NC State          307   19.   Texas State         320
T8.   Oregon            308   20.   Butler              321
T8.   Virginia          308   21.   Kentucky            322
T8.   Vanderbilt        308   22.   UNC Wilmington      323
11.   South Florida     309   23.   Siena               328
T12.  Ohio State        310   24.   East Carolina       329

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