HILTON HEAD, S.C. – Carson-Newman was the best par 3 shooting team in the first round at 3.15 on such holes but a +20 day left it at third-place as the first day of the Battle at Hilton Head came to a close on Monday.
The Eagles sit 11 shots out of first-place No. 15 Florida Tech heading into the final day of competition. They tied for the third in terms of par 4s with a +25 score on those holes while tying for second-best on par 5s at +1. Their 10 birdies on the day were the second-most in the field through the first round.
Two Eagles landed in the top 10 of the field through the first 18 holes with Maeve Cummins (Waringstown, Northern Ireland) and Reagan Kinnie (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) tied for fifth and ninth, respectively.
"I will give the team a B after day one," Carson-Newman coach Suzanne Strudwick said. "Two players kept our team score respectable, Maeve (Cummins) and Reagan (Kinnie). We really need to see a full team effort tomorrow to have a chance of top three and higher.
"The course is a true championship quality course which is testing everyone mentally and emotionally. Maintaining a great, positive attitude and self-belief is vital in navigating the challenges this course presents. For good players, they relish the challenge and do not shy away. It's fun to see how our players step up."
Cummins, C-N's top-seed for the event, ended the first round in a tie for fifth with a +2 score of 74. The freshman shot even for par through her first nine holes of the day with a bogey and birdie. She started the turn over her day at hole 17 with a birdie but followed that with just one more birdie, three bogeys and a double bogey.
Kinnie followed Cummins by one shot by the end of Monday for a 75, holding a share of ninth-place. She carded a one-over performance in the back nine to start the day, shooting for birdie three times with a pair of bogeys and a double bogey on the par-5 15. The junior was one shot higher in the front nine with a couple birdies, bogeys and a double bogey.
She shot the most birdies of anyone in the field with five on Monday.
Rachel Watts (Newport, Tenn.) went seven-over in the opening round to sit in a tie for 30th. She started the day with a birdie out the gate on the ninth hole. That was her only birdie on the day. The junior tacked on four bogeys through the back nine to sit at three-over heading back to the start of the front nine. She closed the day with two more bogeys and a double bogey.
Matilda Frövenholt (Öjersjö, Sweden) finished Monday one shot behind Watts for a tie at 40th with an 80. The sophomore was three-over through her first nine holes of the day with a trio of bogeys, a double bogey and a birdie, her only one of the day. Beyond that point, she was on par for four-straight holes before gaining a double-bogey and bogey in order with a bogey to close out the day.
Taylor Hayes (Lake Ozark, Mo.) fired her second-highest score of the season with an 81, placing her in a tie for 42nd. The senior was six-over through the back-nine of the course with four bogeys and a double bogey. In the front half of the course, she improved by three shots with a trio of bogeys.
Playing as an individual for the Eagles, Allie Fletcher (Cumming, Ga.) was the lowest on the leaderboard among C-N participants, tied for 51st. She was six over through her first nine holes of the day after scoring a bogey, triple bogey and double bogey. By the turn over her day, she regained some ground on a sequence that saw her shoot for bogey and birdie on back-to-back holes.
No. 15 Florida Tech leads the way after the first 18 holes with a nine-over score of 297. Eight shots behind the Panthers are Anderson with C-N rounding out the top three.
On the player leaderboard, Anderson's Tiffany Elam sits at the top with a two-under 70. She is the only player in the field to sit under par after Monday. Florida Tech holds the rest of the spots in the top three with individual Hailey Ko in second with an even 72 while Lucy Eaton and Paola Ortiz are both tied for third at 73.
The tournament continues on Tuesday with a final round of action starting at 9:00 a.m. Fans can follow along with live scoring through BirdieFire.