First-Round Results (PDF):
(LAWRENCE, Kan.) Park University freshman golfer Makenzie Shivers fired a collegiate career-best 83 Monday (March 10) at Eagle Bend Golf Course in Lawrence, two shots off the tournament lead and best among five Pirates, who are second, by two shots to Ottawa University, through 18 holes.
Amy Wilert's 81 for the Braves leads the tournament, helping Ottawa shoot 343. Park came in with 345, 13 shots better than NCAA Division II Rockhurst University and 50 shots in front of fourth-place Kansas Wesleyan.
"I couldn't be more proud of the way Makenzie handled herself today on the golf course," said Park coach Steve Wilson. "She had chances to let her round break down on her, but she was able to withstand a couple of small mistakes and put up a good number. I thought we had a really good effort, as a team, and we hit the ball really well. Our putting is off, but I think that will catch up with more time outdoors."
Shivers' 83 is tied for third with Erin Shriver, also of Ottawa, and Park has three other top-10 scorers through the first round. Sarah Hall's 86 (42-44) is seventh, Lindsey Vest is eighth with 87 (44-43), and Kelsey Faiferlick shot 89 (44-45) to tie for 10th.
Park also had a freshman play her first collegiate round, Savannah Kutz, who shot 98, with a pair of par-saving putts.
Shivers' back nine was the difference, narrowly missing her first collegiate nine-hole score under 40 when a 20-footer for par came up just shy of the cup on No. 18. She shot 40, beginning the back nine with three pars and missing out on a look at birdie on the par-3 17th.
"Makenzie wasn't overly aggressive with the putter, but she made her share of long putts to cut strokes. I think she finished with 35 putts, which is above where she wants to be, but I'm happy with it," Wilson said. "She has worked so hard to get her swing where she wants it, and she's making great contact as a result."
Hall had Park's best front nine, turning in 42, and she cut a shot at the par-4 11th, sticking a 120-yard approach shot just above the hole before hitting the back of the cup for birdie. Vest had pars at holes 1-through-4, and Faiferlick made a 15-foot sliding birdie putt on the par-5 ninth.
"Our three upperclassmen aren't happy with the way the day went, but that's because of how much they expect out of themselves," Wilson said. "They're all three good players, and they'll buckle down for a better round Tuesday. We'll need it, because it's hard to beat a team on its home course."
Park, Ottawa, Rockhurst and Kansas Wesleyan will decide the team championship Tuesday at Eagle Bend, a 5,820-yard par-72 golf course near the Clinton Lake dam in Lawrence, Kan. Play begins at 9 a.m.