Nashville, Tenn. - The Tennessee State women's golf team took to the course on Friday afternoon to begin the 2013 spring season. The Tigers squared off in a duel with Lipscomb on a soggy Par-70, 5,737 yard McCabe Golf Course on a 61 degree, and mostly sunny day with winds gusting 8-12 miles-per-hour. The course played wet with some areas of standing water.
"Everybody's swing, to some degree, has had some sort of adjustment made from fall semester to now," said head coach Parrish McGrath. "This is the first time it has been play tested. I saw some very good results from some shots. Unfortunately, with the conditions, sometimes it did not get reward with better scores."
Kelly Merkel led the team with eight pars on way to a 13-over 83. Merkel used back-to-back pars on the par-3 second and the par-4 third, as well as on the par-4 15th and par-5 16th to finish six strokes off the lead. The freshman used an up-and-down on 15 to save par, as she tried to maintain pace with Miriam Parker of Lipscomb.
Amelia Dap used an up-and-down on the par-4 fifth allowing her to make a ten foot putt to save par. Dap picked up three pars on the front nine and added another on the back to finish with a 91. The red-shirt freshman finished one stroke ahead of Bria Norris (92) who finished even on the par-4 ninth and the par-3 17th.
After struggling on the front nine, Sarah Needleman (94) found her stroke notching four pars on the back nine. On the tenth hole, Needleman used a 20-foot putt to start her run on the second half of the course. The freshman used a chip out of a bunker to place herself on the green to set up the lengthy finish. Needleman continued her hot play on the par-3 13th with a 30-foot chip from just off the green to within five feet of the pin, allowing for a putt to save par.
Chelsea Marlin (99) recorded her best round of her young career as she was the lone Tiger to record a birdie on the day. Marlin's tee shot on 17 landed within five feet of the pin, setting up the birdie putt. The freshman missed out on another birdie on the ninth hole, as her seven-foot putt just missed to the right of the cup. Marlin completed the hole with one of her two pars on the day.
"We were very glad to get out here and get our first round of the year under our belt." McGrath said. "It's nice to do that close to home. It's also nice to see what we need to work on for the future tournaments coming up in the near weeks."
Lipscomb - 319
Miriam Parker - 77
Savanna Schubert - 79
Danielle Grace - 80
MacKenzy Carter - 83
Sami Khan - 84