PHOENIX, Md. – Quinnipiac freshmen Jenn Whaley (Avon, Conn.) and Krissy Unger (New York, N.Y.) led the women's golf team on the first day of the Tignanelli Towson Invitational at the Towson Golf and Country Club in Phoenix, Md. Whaley carded an 81 (+9) while Unger finished a stroke behind at 82 (+10).
Whaley's 81 and Unger's 82 are the two lowest rounds by a freshman in Quinnipiac's three-year history. The previous mark was set by Hannah Russell with an 85 at last year's ECAC Division I Women's Golf Championship. Russell's score broke the freshman record held by Jennifer Forlenza, who shot an 89 in the final round of the 2010-11 Northeast Conference Women's Golf Championship.
"I think that the first tournament of the year was a stressful situation for our athletes," head coach John O'Connor said. "When you're playing in a tournament of this size, there's a lot of waiting to tee off, and then again to take your next shot. I think that made it difficult for many of our players to get in a rhythm."
After the first 18 holes of the two-day, 36-hole Tignanelli Towson Invitational, the Bobcats are tied for 14th out of 18 teams, matching the score of fellow Northeast Conference institution Mount St. Mary's. The Bobcats shot a combined 342 (+54) and sit 37 strokes off the leader, St. John's, at +17 (305). Quinnipiac leads Towson (Gold) (343, +55), Delaware State (344, +56) and Randolph-Macon (377, +89).
"We were out there for six hours – actually a little over six hours," O'Connor explained. "It's tough to maintain focus, as hard as they're playing and trying to prove themselves. I'm encouraged by what I saw, considering the amount of stress they played under. They waited on every hole and it's tough to compete when you're waiting for every shot."
Whaley's 81 places her in a tie for 33rd place with eight other players out of the 90 competitors in the event. Whaley bogeyed the first hole of her collegiate career, but bounced back to par nine of the next 12 holes for the afternoon. At +3 (39) through the first nine holes, Whaley shot six-over on the back nine.
Unger finished the day tied with four other players with an 82 (+10) for the day. Unger started her day with a par on both the 16th and 17th holes before bogeying five of the following six holes. Unger parred six of the final 10 holes for the day, recovering from a +7 on the front nine to shoot +3 down the stretch.
Sophomore Hannah Russell (Monson, Mass.) shot 89 (+17) for a tie of 67th place while Jennifer Forlenza (Wayne, N.J.) shot a 90 (+18) for a tie for 72nd. Kayla Ketcheson (St. Andrews, Manitoba) shot a 94 for the day.
"I'm encouraged by how we handled the stress of the first event of the year and really, we played well, I thought," O'Connor said. "I'm looking forward to bouncing back tomorrow and hopeful for bigger and better things. We're thankful to get this one under our belt."
Quinnipiac will complete Towson's two-day tournament on Monday, Sept. 10. The Bobcats will be back in action on Sept. 15-16 when they travel to Hanover, N.H. to compete in the Dartmouth Invitational at the Hanover Country Club.
Contact: Ken Sweeten (firstname.lastname@example.org)