Patriot women golfers fifth at nationals


HOUSTON -- The UT Tyler Patriots are tied for fifth after the opening round of the NCAA Division III Women’s Golf Championship on Tuesday at the Bay Oaks Country Club.

Patriot senior Morgan Loth is 10th after shooting a 76.

The Patriots carded a 313 total to start the four-day, 72-hole competition while Rhodes College leads the 22-team field with a first-round total of 301. George Fox and Williams College are tied for second with 303s and Carleton College is two strokes ahead of the Patriots and in fourth going into Wednesday’s second round which will begin at 7:45 a.m. on the course’s 10th hole.

“We had a good front-nine, but ran into some trouble on the back,” UT Tyler coach Grant Spencer said. “We did manage to hang in there so we aren’t in too bad of shape with three more rounds to go. If we can all avoid having a big number on a hole then we will get back in the hunt.”

Loth led the Patriots with her round of 4-over-par to start the tournament after making three birdies and 10 pars.

A Humble native, Loth is coming off winning her second straight American Southwest Conference championship and will be chasing Phoebe Mattana who leads the tournament after shooting a 3-under-par 69 for Williams College.

UT Tyler junior Stephanie Tutt, of McKinney, shot a 78 on Tuesday and enters the second round in 25th on the leaderboard. Tutt was fifth at last year’s national tournament to earn all-America honors and started this year’s tournament with two birdies and 10 pars. A triple on No. 11 hurt an otherwise clean round on Tuesday.

Taylor Denton, a sophomore from Burnet, shot a 79 and Katelyn Hicken, a sophomore from Frisco, an 80 to go toward the team total, while Amy Cox, a junior from Colleyville, shot a 86 despite matching Loth with a team-best three birdies in the opening round. Hicken and Denton each had two birdies on the day and limited damage for the most part throughout the round.

UT Tyler is currently tied with Amherst College which also carded a 313 team total, while Wittenberg University (314), Wisconsin-Stout (319), New York University (320) and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (321) are in the top-10 after the play of 18 holes in Houston.

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