May 8, 2014
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Sophomore Ole Miss women’s golfer Abby Newton used a stellar back nine to close the first round of the NCAA East Regional in Tallahassee, Fla., in 28th place on Thursday (May 8) at the Southwood Golf Course in Tallahassee, Fla.
Entering the back nine at 3-over par, Newton fired 3-under par on the second nine holes, to close the day at even par 72. The highlight of Newton’s first round was an eagle on No. 4, which put the sophomore at 1-under through 13 holes.
“I had a rough start on the front nine,’ said Newton. “But I kept my head high because I knew that I could get it back. On the back nine I started with a birdie and from there I got on a roll and with an eagle on No. 4 I was able to finish 3-under on the back. I’m excited fro tomorrow’s round as I know I can have a really good round.”
On No. 4 Newton drove about 300 yards off the tee. With 175 yards to the green, she came up about five feet short of the green with the ball rolling back into the bunker. Newton played a beautiful bunker shot, which trickled right over the front edge and into the cup. In the words of head coach Michele Drinkard it was a “thing of beauty.” Newton’s eagle was her first of the spring and the third for an Ole Miss player this spring.
“In golf you have to be patient and wait for your opportunities and Abby did that today,” said Drinkard. “She got off to a slow start with her driver; missing her first three drives to the right, which if you know Abby, is usually not the direction she misses a shot. Once she adjusted the ball position she was off to the races and struck the ball very well. I applaud her for being able to pick up on the adjustment needed and make that change immediately in the round.”
Starting on hole No. 10, Newton opened with par and closed the first nine holes at 3-over par. With a bogey on No. 11, Newton rebounded with a back-to-back pars on No, 12 and No. 13. With a bogey on No. 14, the sophomore held serve with two pars before closing the first nine holes with a par on No. 18.
Sitting at 3-over par at the turn, the Katy, Texas native took it up a notch, quietly moving up the leaderboard. Newton opened the front nine with two birdies and the ever-elusive eagle on No. 4.
Newton’s putting was much improved on the front nine, resulting in two birdies and the eagle. Newton was very aggressive with her putting, not taking any chances. On No. 6, she had a great look at a par and had a great putt that just lipped out, keeping her at even par.
“We really had “#TeamAbby” going today,” said Drinkard. “Coach (Janell) Howland did a great job reading greens with her and Abby gave every putt a chance. It’s nice to see her playing aggressively and I look forward to watching her compete again tomorrow.”
Newton will continue action at the 2014 NCAA East Regional on Friday (May 9). The top two individuals from each regional will advance to the championship round in Tulsa, Okla., May 20-23.
For all Ole Miss women’s golf news and information, go to OleMissSports.com, and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissWGolf and on Facebook at Ole Miss WGolf.
T3- Lori Beth Adams (UNC Wilmington), 68--68
T13–Kaew Preamchuen (Kennesaw State), 70--70
T28-Abby Newton (Ole Miss), 72--72
T46- Lacey Fears (Mercer), 73--73
T60- Christina Vosters (Penn State), 74—74
T87-Ellen Ceresko (Penn State), 76--76