May 18, 2011
BRYAN, Texas (seminoles.com) - Florida State sophomore Jessica Negron shot an even par 72 and is in a tie for 10th place after the first round of the NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship finals at the Traditions Club Golf Course. Negron is just three strokes behind Virginia's Brittany Altomare who is the first round leader after shooting a three under par 69. Competing as one of six individuals in the 126 player field, Negron was among the leaders throughout the round is one of only 22 golfers in the field who shot par or better golf in the first round.
"I had a lot of fun today; this is really exciting to be playing in the nationals," said Negron after leaving the 18th green. "I hit a lot of greens today and I feel like I putted pretty well. Hitting a lot of greens was good because my putting was working today."
One of the challenges she had in the first round was the ever-changing wind which she will probably have to get used to throughout the four round tournament. The wind is expected to blow on the course all week especially during the afternoon waves. Negron tees off at 1:25 CST on Thursday as she works to move her way up the leader board.
"This is a very challenging course and the wind is going to force all of the golfers to make constant adjustments," she said. "I hit the ball well and my long irons put me in position for a lot of makeable putts. The challenge is definitely going to be understanding and adapting to the windy conditions for the rest of the week."
Negron enjoyed a solid first day as she carded 15 holes at par or better with three birdies. She carded two consecutive birdies on holes No. three and four and quickly moved under par for majority of the reminder of the round. Negron carded 10 consecutive holes of stellar golf with two birdies and eight holes at par in the middle of her round to keep herself near the top of the leader board.
Negron was one stroke under par over her final 16 holes of the afternoon. Her lone misstep came on her 18th and final hole as she bogeyed the hole to move to even par. "Jessica played a strong round today," said head coach Amy Bond. "She has really taken a liking to this course. She hit some beautiful tee shots that put her in good position on each hole. She played good golf out there today and I am looking forward to her playing even better in the final three rounds. The wind is going to challenge every golfer; it blows differently on different parts of the same holes throughout the course."
Negron continued to play well in the postseason with her even par 72 in Wednesday's first round. She has now carded two of her four rounds in NCAA Tournament play at par or better and is even par over her first four rounds in NCAA regional and championship play so far this spring. Negron carded a three under par 69 in the first round of the NCAA East Regional Championship on May 5 on the Legends Course at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Negron has now carded three of five career rounds in two NCAA Championship finals at par or better.
Negron is tied for third among the six individuals playing in the event. Among the players she is tied with is Lindy Duncan, the 2011 ACC Player of the Year and is tied for fourth among the ACC players in the event.
No. 2 ranked UCLA holds a two stroke lead of Virginia from the ACC in the team standings while the Cavaliers' Altomare holds the individual lead heading into the second round. Altomare holds a one stroke lead over three players and has a three stroke lead over Florida State's Negron.