May 22, 2012
FRANKLIN, Tenn. (seminoles.com) - Florida State senior Maria Salinas shot an uncharacteristic 80 in the first round of the NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championships on the Legends Course and is in a tie for 112th place in the individual standings with three rounds remaining in the event. It marked her first score in the 80's since the first round of the Mo Morial Tournament - the first tournament the fall 2011 season - meaning she shot 26 consecutive rounds with scores in the 70's including five consecutive at par or better until today.
Salinas, who qualified as an individual by earning medalist honors at the NCAA Central Regional, entered the National Championships averaging a career best 73.85 strokes in 26 rounds during nine tournaments this season. She carded 16 of her 26 rounds with scores of 75 or better including eight at par or better. She was a cumulative total of even par in her last two tournaments (-3 at the NCAA Central Regional Championship and +3 at the ACC Championships) and finished under par in two of her final five tournaments of the spring.
Salinas (Lima, Peru) is playing in her third career NCAA Championship event but her first as an individual. She competed in the 2009 NCAA Championship for the University of Chattanooga before transferring to Florida State and playing with the Seminoles in the 2010 NCAA Championship. Salinas finished in 20th place in the individual standings in helping the Seminoles to a 10th place finish in the team standings in her first season at Florida State.
Fortunately for Salinas, she has consistently improved her scores during the course of tournament play as a senior. In nine regular season events as a senior, Salinas averaged 74.22 strokes in the first round while averaging 73.64 strokes in her second and third rounds combined. Salinas was even better with her third rounds scores as she averaged a stellar 72.50 strokes per round - an average which includes her career best single round score of 66 in the third round of the Lady Gator Invitational in March when she earned her first career individual championship.
No. 2 ranked Alabama made a late first round charge and is in first place in the team standings. The Crimson Tide has a two shot lead over Virginia heading into the second round. Virginia, whom the Seminoles defeated in the ACC Championship, and Alabama were the only teams to shoot even par or better in the first round. Duke, the 2012 ACC Champion, is in third place only one stroke behind Virginia. Portland Rosen of Virginia is the first round leader with a six under par score of 66.
Salinas, who averages 75.67 strokes in nine career rounds in NCAA Championship Finals play, will tee off at 12:45 on Wednesday and is scheduled to play with Gabriella Dominquez of Texas Tech and Margarita Ramos of Arizona.