Damerau Leads Wildcats in First Round of SEC Championship
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Battling against the weather elements all day at the Greystone Golf & Country Club's Legacy Course, the Kentucky women's golf team shot a tournament-opening 19-over-par 307 on day one of the Southeastern Conference Championship.
Playing under rainy conditions in Birmingham, Ala. -- with more in the forecast for the weekend -- the Wildcats are in a three-way tie for 10th place with 36 holes to go. Though scoring proved to be tough on the first day of the league championship, as not a single team shot better than five-over par, only 17 shots separate first-place Texas A&M, Tennessee and Vanderbilt (five-over par) from 14th-place Ole Miss (22-over par).
"Today was one long day," head coach Golda Johansson Borst said. "The round took a solid six hours and the girls fought as hard as they could in the rain. We unfortunately made some unforced errors that hurt us, but they are hitting the ball well so we just need to stay with it and find a way to get the ball in the hole tomorrow."
Junior Cylia Damerau, who shot a 75 on all three days of last year's SEC Championship in posting Kentucky's best 54-hole score, carded yet another three-over 75 to pace the Wildcats in the first round.
The Switzerland native, like the rest of her teammates, started on the back nine with a shotgun start, but she played her best golf on the front nine of the rain-soaked Legacy Course. Damerau birdied three holes on the front nine and finished the day in a tie for 23rd.
Haley Mills, Kentucky's 2014-15 stroke average leader, got off to a rough start with a triple bogey in her opening holes, but the sophomore responded nicely with a one-under-par score on the front nine.
Mills birdied three holes in a four-hole stretch and carded four birdies overall on the front nine to get to four-over par on the day. She's tied for 30th.
Freshmen Isabelle Johansson and Grace Rose made their SEC Championship debuts with scores of 77 (five-over par) and 79 (seven-over par), respectively. Each freshman recorded three birdies on the day.
Junior Sarah Harris, who has been UK's top finisher in two of its eight tournaments this season, shot a 12-over-par 84 on Friday and is tied for 67th.
Play will continue on Saturday with 18 more holes at the par-72, 6,190-yard layout at the Legacy Course in Birmingham, Ala. Rain is in the forecast again for Saturday, but the tournament is still scheduled to resume at 11 a.m. ET with a shotgun start.
The SEC Championship features arguably the toughest conference tournament in the country with eight teams in the top 20. UK is currently ahead of one of them, No. 8 Mississippi State.
Fans can continue to follow along all weekend with live scoring at golfstat.com. The SEC Network will televise highlights from the tournament on April 29 at 10 p.m. ET.
For the latest on the Kentucky women's golf team, follow @UKWomensGolf on Twitter and on the web at UKathletics.com.
T23. Cylia Damerau: 75 (+3)
T30. Haley Mills: 76 (+4)
T36. Isabelle Johansson: 77 (+5)
T. 46 Grace Rose: 79 (+7)
T67. Sarah Harris 84 (+12)
T10. Kentucky: 307 (+19)
Greystone Golf & Country Club (Legacy Course)