No. 30 Golf Leads Hurricane Invitational
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – After one round of play, the 30th-ranked Miami Hurricanes women’s golf team and freshman Daniela Darquea each sit atop the leaderboard of the 2014 Hurricane Invitational.
The Canes combined to shoot a 284 in round one at Biltmore Golf Course, putting them one shot ahead of No. 25 Iowa State (285). Campbell (289) and Kennesaw State (289) are tied for third, while East Carolina (290) and Northwestern (290) round out the top five in the 17-team field.
“I think we are in a good position right now,” Miami head coach Patti Rizzo said. “We are in the lead not by a lot. There are a lot of close teams close to us so we can’t just take it for granted.”
Darquea led the Canes with her opening round score of 68 that gave her a one-shot lead over Middle Tennessee State’s Avery George and Iowa State’s Sasikarn On-lam after 18 holes. The Quito, Ecuador native is 3-under par after one day of play, impressing Rizzo with another stellar round.
“Dani played great with a 68,” Rizzo said. “Dani is such a talented player. She’s really, really good. I keep trying to convince her about how good she is because she doesn’t even know. She needs to get even more confidence and I think she’s going tear up the whole collegiate golf world. She’s got a great future ahead of her.”
Fellow freshman Delfina Acosta also turned in an impressive opening round, firing a 1-under 70 that has her in a four-way tie for fourth place. Kailey Walsh (1-over 72), Rika Park (3-over 74) and Leticia Ras-Anderica (5-over 76) rounded out the Miami A squad that claimed the top spot on the leaderboard at the end of play Monday afternoon.
“Delfi is also a great player and probably my most competitive player,” Rizzo said. “She doesn’t let Dani. Leti or anybody else be better than her so she’s chasing after them. She’s a Seve Ballesteros feel-type of player so when she’s on, she’s really on. She looks really good right now. Leti had a completely off day for her so I’m expecting her to come back with better things. We are going to be in good shape.”
Christina Ocampo led Miami’s second group of golfers, shooting a 1-over 72 that has her tied for 15th after one round. Joining Ocampo in the second group of Canes were Lauren Riehle (77), Carina Cuculiza (80), Laura Hendee (80) and Audrey Monssoh (88). All 10 members of Miami’s women’s golf team are playing in the 2014 Hurricane Invitational.
“I definitely think there is a little home advantage here with my girls knowing the course,” Rizzo said. “It looks easy, but it’s really hard to score well. I think a lot of teams were surprised today with how difficult it actually is to score well here. The course is in great shape and the girls all look really good. I’m looking forward to another two solid days and we’ll be in good shape.”
Miami is one of three teams in the field ranked inside the top 30 of the latest Golfstat NCAA Division I standings. Daytona State College enters the tournament as the top-ranked team in junior college.
At the 2013 Hurricane Invitational at Deering Bay, the Hurricanes finished third out of 18 teams, while Baylor won the tournament by a four-stroke margin.
Miami has finished either second or third in each of its last three tournaments this season. Following the Hurricane Invitational, the Hurricanes will head north March 14-16 for the SunTrust Gator Invitational in Gainesville, Fla.
The second round of the three-day event begins at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday. Golfers will tee off in eight-minute intervals from both the No. 1 and No. 10 tees. Wednesday’s final round will commence with an 8 a.m. shotgun start.
The 2014 Hurricane Invitational will be played over three days at the par-71, 6,092-yard course at the Biltmore, a few miles from the University of Miami campus. Live scoring for all three rounds will be available at www.golfstatresults.com and www.hurricanesports.com.
For tournament updates throughout the day on Twitter, use the hashtag #CaneInvite or follow the Miami Hurricanes women’s golf account, @HurricanesGolf.
HURRICANE INVITATIONAL INFORMATION
Date: Monday, March 3 – Wednesday, March 5
Location / Course: Coral Gables, Fla. / Biltmore Golf Course
Par / Yardage: 71 / 6,092
Field (17 teams): (65) Campbell, (1 –JC) Daytona State, (54) East Carolina, Iowa, (25) Iowa State, James Madison, Kennesaw State, Longwood, Maryland, (69) Mercer, (30) Miami (A&B), Michigan, Middle Tennessee, (18) Northwestern, (56) Texas State, (58) Texas Tech, USF
Live Scoring: www.golfstatresults.com / www.hurricanesports.com