Lewis Leads Linksters

Jump to agate FAYETTEVILLE — Freshman Stacy Lewis carded a two-under 142 (72-70) to lead the both the University of Arkansas and the field at the Central District Invitational in Parrish, Fla., Monday. The 20th-ranked Lady Razorbacks trail No. 13 Missouri by two strokes after posting a 13-over 589 after two long rounds at the River Wilderness Golf Club. Lewis, a Woodlands, Texas, native, was tied for fifth after a first-round 72 but went two-under in the second round jumping into the lead. The team’s 293 in the second round is tied for third all-time and is the lowest round of the season and the two-round 589 is the lowest in school history by 28 strokes. "I’m excited," said head coach Kelley Hester. "We haven’t competed since the middle of October and to come out and play the way we did is encouraging. We played well but didn’t play our best yet. There’s room for improvement and tomorrow should be exciting." Lewis began her day on the fourth hole taking a six in the first round. Lewis hit a good shot off the tee but hit the cart path bouncing into the water. She rebounded with a one-under four on the same hole in the second round getting off to a good start. She shaved another stroke on the seventh hole but gave back one on the ninth heading to the back nine up one. The freshman dropped to even with a one-over six on the 11th hole but again picked up strokes on eight and two finishing at 142 (72-70). "What a trooper," said Hester. "She hasn’t walked 36 holes since her back surgery (as a senior in high school two years ago) and she handled it well. She doesn’t get rattled and hit a lot of fairways and greens all day." Junior Amanda McCurdy finished the day tied for third overall with a 146 (71-75) and is still in the title hunt despite five bogies in the second round. "Amanda played pretty well," said Hester, "but she needs to be a little more patient. She didn’t hit many bad golf shots today and I think she’ll be one to watch in the final round." Hot Springs, Ark., senior Gena Johnson moved up to a tie for 16h overall at 150 (75-75) followed by junior Courtney Mahon who tied for 19th at 151 (78-73). Mahon’s solid play in the first round and comeback in the second was key for Arkansas’ finish. "Courtney hung in there," said Hester. "She knew we needed her score to count in the first round and kept it together. I was pleased with that." Junior Sarah Trew rounded out the Arkansas’ scoring improving four strokes between rounds. Trew finished the day tied for 41st with a 156 (80-76). "I’m very pleased," said Hester. "But I keep telling the team that this is just the tip of the iceberg. If they continue to work together they are capable of incredible things." Arkansas trails Missouri but finds itself ahead of a talented field. The Lady’Backs lead No. 43 Baylor by six strokes at 595. No. 14 LSU is fourth with a 599, followed by No. 23 Michigan and No. 51 Texas A&M in a tie for fifth at 610. No. 46 Texas Tech is seventh with a 611, ahead of No. 8 Ohio State with a 613. Southern Methodist checked in with 614 and No. 61 Nebraska rounded out the top 10 with a 616. Arkansas led the field for the first half of the first round carding a 296. McCurdy paced the Lady’Backs with a one-under 71 in a round that included birdies on six and seven. McCurdy was tied for second after first round play. Lewis also played well in the opening round with an even 72 standing tied for fifth and Johnson was tied for 17th after the morning session with a first-round 75. Mahon was tied for 40th at plus six while Trew was tied for 52nd with an eight-over 80. Arkansas continues play at the Central District Invitational with a single round Tuesday morning. The Lady Razorbacks return to Florida traveling to Gainesville for the SunTrust Lady Gator Invitational March 4-6. For more information about Arkansas golf, log on to LADYBACKS.COM.2005 Central District InvitationalRiver Wilderness Golf Course and ResortParrish, Fla. Monday-Tuesday, Feb. 21-22, 2005Hosted by Michigan State University Course: River Wilderness Golf Club: Par 72 – 6099 yards

1 Missouri +11 292-295=587
2 Arkansas +13 296-293=589
3 Baylor +19 300-295=595
4 Louisiana State +23 303-296=599
T5 Michigan +34 307-303=610
T5 Texas A&M +34 306-304=610
7 Texas Tech +35 311-300=611
8 Ohio State +37 303-310=613
9 Southern Methodist +38 309-305=614
10 Nebraska +40 306-310=616
11 Michigan State +41 304-313=617
12 Notre Dame +42 313-305=618
13 Northwestern +49 317-308=625
14 Indiana +63 316-323=639
15 Kansas State +66 321-321=642

Top 10 Individuals

1 Stacy Lewis Arkansas, U. of -2 72-70=142
2 Sian Reddick Baylor +1 73-72=145
T3 Jennifer Ackerson Southern Methodist +2 73-73=146
T3 Merynn Ito Nebraska, U. of +2 69-77=146
T3 Denise Knaebel Missouri, U. of +2 73-73=146
T3 Amanda McCurdy Arkansas, U. of +2 71-75=146
T3 Maria Ohlsson Missouri, U. of +2 76-70=146
T3 Amy Schmucker Michigan +2 74-72=146
T3 Kristen White Ohio State +2 71-75=146
T10 Megan Hull Texas Tech Univ +3 76-71=147
T10 Stephanie Wavro Missouri, U. of +3 71-76=147

Other Arkansas Scores

T16 Gena Johnson +6 75-75=150
T19 Courtney Mahon +7 78-73=151
T41 Sarah Trew +12 80-76=156