Southern California Holds One-Shot Lead After Firs

Day One Photo Gallery

March 9, 2008

Sorrento, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - Third-ranked Southern California posted a 281 (-7) to take the lead following round one of the UCF Challenge To Benefit Florida Children's Hospital on Sunday. The Women of Troy hold a slim one-shot lead on top-ranked Duke (282, -6) after the first 18 holes of the three-day event at RedTail Golf Club.

The opening round was delayed for just over an hour due to frost, but the cold weather quickly moved out and the scores started to go low. Duke sophomore Alison Whitaker established the women's competitive course record with a 65 (-7) to take the round-one individual lead on the 6,301-yard layout. Whitaker birdied five of her last seven holes to card a 31 (-5) on the back nine.

Two Women of Troy led USC with scores of 69 (-3) as Stefanie Endstrasser and Belen Mozo are among a five-way tie for fourth. Senior Paola Moreno was the third USC golfer to come in under par as she is tied for ninth after carding a 70 (-2).

Host UCF is in a three-way team tie for ninth after carding a 292 (+4). Sophomore Leigh Crosby (Athens, Ga.) birdied her final hole of the day to post an even-par score of 72. Junior May Tomimbang (Kissimmee, Fla.) and Jessy Tang (Miami, Fla.) both posted a 73 (+1). Tomimbang led the Knights with five birdies.

"We had a really solid day against one of the top fields in college golf," UCF head coach Emilee Klein said. "We are finally starting to put some numbers together and you can see our team gaining confidence. Our teams feels like this is where they belong and that is impressive for a fairly young team."

Junior Stephanie Connelly (Pasadena, Md.) also counted towards the team score with 74 (+2). Connelly had four birdies in her round as the team combined for 14 birdies on the day.

Auburn's Cydney Clanton trails Whitaker by a stroke after making eight birdies to give her a score of 66 (-6). Whitaker also made eight birdies on her round to equal Clanton for the most on the day. Whitaker and the Blue Devils won the inaugural UCF Challenge title a year ago at Grand Cypress.

Oklahoma State's Pernilla Lindberg is two shots shy of Whitaker in third after posting a 67 (-5). Lindberg and her seventh-ranked Cowgirl teammates are tied with second-ranked UCLA in fourth after both squads shot a 286 (-2) in the opening round. 18th-ranked Pepperdine is in third after the Waves combined for a 285 (-3). Martine de Gannes is among the five-way tie for fourth after leading Pepperdine with a 69 (-3).

Duke junior Amanda Blumenherst is also among the fivesome at four shots behind Whitaker. Blumenherst won medalist honors a year ago at this event by 12 strokes with a three-round total of 205 (-11) at Grand Cypress.

Live scoring for the three-day event will be available on www.golfstat.com.

Team Leaderboard (Round One) 1 Southern California 281 (-7) 2 Duke 282 (-6) 3 Pepperdine 285 (-3) 4 Oklahoma State 286 (-2) UCLA 286 (-2)

Individual Leaderboard (Round One) 1 Allison Whitaker (Duke) 65 (-7) 2 Cydney Clanton (Auburn) 66 (-6) 3 Pernilla Lindberg (Oklahoma State) 67 (-5) 4 Garrett Phillips (Georgia) 69 (-3) Martine de Gannes (Pepperdine) 69 (-3) Stefanie Ednstrasser (USC) 69 (-3) Belen Mozo (USC) 69 (-3) Amanda Blumenherst (Duke) 69 (-3)

UCF Players (Round One) T21 Leigh Crosby 72 (E) T32 Jessy Tang 73 (+1) T32 May Tomimbang 73 (+1) T46 Stephanie Connelly 74 (+2) T78 Victoria Tomko 79 (+7)

T88 *Katie Detlefsen 81 (+9) T91 *Sara Hurwitch 82 (+10) * playing as individuals

For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. Also check out UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.