Walsh ten shots adrift at NCAA Regional as Irish struggle on the college scene

Ronan MacNamara
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Walsh ten shots adrift at NCAA Regional as Irish struggle on the college scene

Lauren Walsh - Image by Wake Forest

Lauren Walsh is ten shots off the pace after the opening round of the NCAA Franklin Regional at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Tennessee.

The Castlewarden native lies on three-over after a first-round 75 while Alabama’s Polly Mack opened up a two-shot gap at the summit after a scintillating seven-under 65.

Walsh who sunk the winning putt for Wake Forest at last month’s ACC Championship final struggled on Monday and a double-bogey six on the second set the tone for a frustrating day.

The Kildare woman halved the damage with a birdie on the par-5 4th to turn in 37 but three bogeys in four holes on the back nine saw her slip down the leaderboard.

Dropped shots on the 12th, 14th and 15th saw her drop to four-over before she ended a disappointing day on a high with a birdie at the last.

It leaves Walsh in a share of 38th place.

Cork’s Sara Byrne didn’t fare much better in the NCAA Tallahassee Regional at Seminole as she fell to a five-over 77 to lie eight shots adrift of the lead.

The Miami student had a nightmarish finish to her round carding two double-bogeys in her last three holes to fall out of contention.

Scoring proved tough, with two players leading on three-under and just six players under-par after the first round and Byrne would have been in the mix had it not been for a pair of sixes on 16 and 18.

Byrne was three-over after nine holes but rallied with three birdies and a bogey in four holes to get back to plus one and within four of the lead.

However, that ugly finish has left her with work to do.

Meanwhile in the Albuquerque Regional, Mairead Martin is also ten shots off the pace on three-over after an opening 75.

A horror start to her back nine ruined what was turning out to be a good day for the Louisville student after she carded a double-bogey six on the 10th and a bogey on 12.

Martin had turned in level-par after her front nine was bookended by birdies.

It was a tough day for Ireland’s Auburn duo. Anna Foster is on six-over after a first round of 78 left her nine shots off the pace in the NCAA Stillwater Regional at Karsten Creek while Julie McCarthy had a day to forget after a disastrous twenty-three-over 95 to leave her propping up the leaderboard.

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