COLUMBUS, Ga. – A five-over opening round from Reagan Kinnie helped place her and Carson-Newman at third on the leaderboard by the end of Monday at the Lady Cougar Classic at the Country Club of Columbus.
"Really tough scoring day for the whole field," Carson-Newman coach Suzanne Strudwick said. "The course is in poor condition because of the amount of rain over the last month and then with the deadly tornados yesterday that disrupted the practice rounds and caused the tournament to be shortened to 36 holes, not 54, it has been challenging."
The Eagles, as a whole, are three shots from the lead at 31-over with a 319. If their position holds into the second day of play, they would pick up their sixth-straight top three finish of the season.
C-N was on par for the most teams in the field at 49. It was the second-best par 3 shooting group at nine-over and tied for second-best on par 4s with a 23-over average.
Kinnie (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) sits just one shot out of first with a 77 heading into the final round of play with a spot at third in the field. She carded a bogey to start the day but followed it with eight-straight par shots to sit at one-over heading into the latter half of her day. The second half of the course started much like the first for the senior as she shot another bogey. From there, she carded another bogey with a double bogey on her final hole of the day to go five-over.
The junior tied for the best par 3 scorer in the first round with an even showing. She also shot the most par shots with 14.
Two shots behind Kinnie is Maeve Cummins (Waringstown, Northern Ireland) with a 79 that has her in a tie for sixth. She started her day at four-over before the turn, carding back-to-back bogeys at the onset followed by two more later on. The freshman went three-over on the par 4 11th hole before a birdie and bogey kept her at seven-over.
The freshman tied for third on par 3 scoring with a one-over showing on such holes.
Matilda Frövenholt (Öjersjö, Sweden) tied for 13th on Monday at nine-over. She faced struggles from the get-go, shooting seven bogeys through her first nine holes with six of those happening in order. A birdie in the sequence with a par shot kept the sophomore at six-over heading into the back nine on her day. She was on par for six of her next holes while shooting bogeys on the rest to hold an 81 heading into Tuesday.
One stroke behind Frövenholt is Anna Davenport (Roswell, Ga.) with an 82, tying her highest round score of the season. She is tied for 19th. The junior was seven-over through the front-nine of the day with three bogeys and a four-over outing on the par 4 11th hole. She shot four more bogeys but gained some ground with a birdie to land her at 10-over.
Rachel Watts (Newport, Tenn.) shot her highest round score on the season with an 85 on Monday, putting her at 25th. She was five-over through the first half of her day on three bogeys and a double bogey. She sandwiched a double bogey between two sets of bogeys. An additional double bogey pushed her to 13-over.
Individual Olivia Williams (Cleveland, Tenn.) shot the highest round of her career with a 90, landing her at 34th. She sat at nine-over heading into the turn with four double bogeys and three bogeys on just two birdies. She tacked on just one par shot with seven more bogeys and a double bogey to go 18-over on the day.
"I am still a bit disappointed in how (the weather and changes) affected our team," Strudwick said. "We talked about these challenges and hoped to see a bit more resilience, mental toughness and grit. These are all attributes that athletes need to work on and understand the importance of in adverse conditions. It levels the playing field so now less-skilled players with stronger minds can keep up with more skilled but less mentally prepared and poor coping skills. We need to come out much more prepared tomorrow to fight for every par."
Host team Columbus State leads the field at 28-over with a 316 heading into Tuesday while Dalton State, the fifth-ranked team among NAIA teams, is at second with a 317.
Isabel Rijos of Dalton State and Hannah Holland of Columbus State lead all players at four-over, each carding a 76 on Monday.
The Lady Cougar Classic wraps up on Tuesday with one final round of play. Live scoring will once again be available through BirdieFire, courtesy of the folks at Columbus State. The final round is set to begin with a shotgun start at 10:30 a.m.