Wake Forest leads team race at Annika; ASU's Fanali makes ace
Wake Forest's Siyun Liu (Shane Bevel/NCAA Photos)
There’s a name conspicuously missing from the Wake Forest roster: Jennifer Kupcho. The Demon Deacons don’t seem to be at all bothered by it. In their first start of the fall season – and first start as a team since a runner-up finish at last spring’s NCAA Women’s Championship – Wake Forest is setting the pace at the Annika Intercollegiate. The Annika is the measuring stick by which women’s teams compare themselves in the fall. So far, the Deacons are stacking up pretty well.
Led by freshman Rachel Kuehn’s bogey-free 5-under 67 at Royal Golf Club in Eden Prairie, Minn., Wake Forest got out to a slim one-shot lead on Arkansas with its 6-under team total. Siyun Liu contributed a 1-under 71 while Emilia Migliaccio and Lauren Walsh had even-par rounds of 72.
Arkansas is also missing a standout player – a few of them actually. Maria Fassi, Dylan Kim and Kaylee Benton are all gone, but the new cast looks pretty strong. Arkansas put up an opening 5-under 283 on Monday.
Arizona is third at 3 under followed by South Carolina in fourth at 2 under. Those are the only four teams under par.
USC, which was a unanimous No. 1 pick in the preseason polls and rankings, opened with a 3-over effort that bumped them to T-7 with UCLA.
Wake Forest’s Kuehn leads the individual race, but the story of the day where players were concerned belonged to Arizona State sophomore Alessanda Fanali. The Italian started on No. 10 and made back-to-back birdies. Three more birdies followed on the back nine in addition to a hole-in-one on the 16th.
Fanali turned with an opening 29, only to bogey four of her first five holes on the front and end up with a 4-under 68. It was still good for a share of second.
ABOUT THE ANNIKA Intercollegiate
54-holes of stroke-play with a field made up of
many of the top teams in women's college golf.
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