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Eagles Overcome Slow Start at Washington & Lee

casey gaffney waiting to putt

LEXINGTON, Va. - The Bridgewater women's golf team drew the tough stretch of holes 14 through 18 at Lexington Golf & Country Club as their starting holes on Monday and the Eagles got off to a slow start after the 1:00 p.m. shotgun, but some momentum late in the round helped them salvage a team score of 333, good for fifth place in a strong field of 13 teams.

For the first time in the 2017-18 season the Eagles faced a field with several teams likely to be ranked in the top-25 nationally when rankings are released later this month. By scoring average, the Eagles completed the first round exactly where they are ranked among the teams in the Generals Invitational.

Bridgewater was paced by senior Christina Herbert, who shot one-over-par 73, which places her in a tie for first with Johnna Beehner and Lauren Ceyrolles, both of Methodist University. Herbert started the day with a birdie on the 13th hole and added three more on the 16th, 3rd, and 10th holes.

Senior Casey Gaffney, competing in her first full tournament of the year, provided a solid score of 83. Gaffney helped create some momentum late in the round when she birdied the ninth hole (her twelfth hole), and then lipped out another birdie attempt on the next hole. "It was great to have Casey with us today," said head coach John Rogers. "We needed her experience and leadership on the course today; and it's really impressive how well she can play when her focus has been primarily on field hockey to this point."

Sophomore Jesse Bartley followed the team pattern of having a few troublesome holes early in the round, but pulling it together for a total of 88. A highlight for Bartley was chipping in to save par on the long par-3 eighth hole.

Freshman Meranda Ludholtz was not 100 percent physically today but she managed to post 89 for the Eagles' fourth score.

Junior Amanda Kelley had one of the highlights of the tournament, and of the year so far, when she hit a soft cut 7-iron into the par-3 fourth hole that landed short of the cup and released until it went in for an ace, the first of her career. Kelley completed her round at 91.

Playing as an individual, freshman Abby Papke shot 101.

Methodist University is leading the tournament at the half-way point with a score of 311, followed by the hosts from W&L at 315. The Eagles are 13 strokes behind Carnegie Mellon (fourth place) and are seven shots clear of Christopher Newport (sixth place).

"We were not very sharp today, especially early on," noted Rogers,"which made it tough to stick close to some of these elite teams, but in the end we were not far from our scoring average, and we still have tomorrow to make a move."

Play resumes at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.