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Woodson Leads Eagles to First Round Edge

hannah woodson chips onto the green

ABINGTON, Va. - On an unseasonably hot day at Glenrochie Country Club, sophomore Hannah Woodson shot her third career-best score in the past four rounds to lead the Bridgewater women's golf team to a slim first-round lead at the Emory & Henry Invitational.

Woodson's low round during her freshman season was 87, but she has started the 2019-20 campaign with rounds of 84-86-83, and topped those with a round of 82 on Monday. Woodson started slow and was +5 through five holes, and she also dropped three shots on the final two holes, but she strung together a seven-hole stretch in the middle of the round at even par to come in with another collegiate personal record. Glenrochie is known for its challenging greens, but Woodson navigated the putting successfully, and she sits in fifth place with one round to play.

Freshman Savannah Scott was not happy with her chipping during the first round, and she too was +5 through five holes, but she held on to post an 83, good for seventh place. A highlight for Scott was dropping a 25-foot, downhill putt with seven feet of break for birdie on the 17th hole.

Like Woodson, sophomore Heather Donnelly has started the new season showing tremendous improvement from last season. During her freshman year, Donnelly averaged almost 91, but she flipped a switch in her final round of the 2019 ODAC Championship and shot an 83- since then she has posted rounds of 84, 84, and 82. On Monday she was on track to post another career number, but three-putted each of the final three holes to post 85. So far she has dropped seven strokes from her average a year ago, and she has been working hard on her short-game to keep the momentum going.

Senior Jesse Bartley followed the team trend of starting slowly during the first round, and she was +6 through eight holes, but she dropped a birdie putt on #14 and saved a par from the tall grass on #15, providing the final team score with an 86.

Playing in the starting lineup for the first time, freshman Madolin Neff performed steadily, shooting 41 on the front nine en route to a total of 88. Playing as an individual, junior Abby Papke came in with an 87.

The Eagles' team total was 336, the highest team score of the young season, yet a number that is still eleven strokes better than their average last year. They lead the small field of five schools, carrying a lead of just three strokes over Southern Virginia University into the final round on Tuesday.

"This was kind of a strange round," said head coach John Rogers. "We showed our depth by posting six scores all within six strokes, but we were missing the low score or two that has helped us get off to a good start this season. Still, this is a first visit to Glenrochie for most of us and it pays to have local knowledge, so it's nice to have the lead. Hopefully we will learn quickly and come out with a little more fire-power tomorrow."

Play resumes in the Emory & Henry Invitational at 8 a.m. on Tuesday.