LOS ANGELES – The Alabama gymnastics team won the second session of the NCAA Championship Semifinals…
Alabama carded a 16-over-par 304 and trail LSU by one shot entering Saturday's second round, which is slated to get under way at 10 a.m. The start of Friday's first round was delayed until 12 p.m. due to early morning rain, which led to the late finish.
Alabama, who played with Arkansas and Florida in round one, saw the final three groups finish in near darkness on Greystone's difficult 18th hole. The final two groups – six players – all hit into the 18th green at the same time before marking their balls and putting out as separate groups.
"My wish would have been that we stopped and came out and finished in some daylight," Alabama Coach Mic Potter said. "But Emma (Talley) really wanted to finish. Stephanie (Meadow) wasn't so sure, but Susan (Rosenstiel) read the putt for her and fortunately she made it. Not ideal and it was a disadvantage, but it is what it is."
"It was a day dictated by the conditions. By the cold, by the wind, by the wet and the delayed starting time."
Senior Jennifer Kirby, who was in the third-from-last group, drilled her approach shot on the 18th next to the pin and calmly sank a 2-foot birdie putt to finish tied for seventh at 3-over 75. Freshman Emma Talley then made bogey on 18 with a three-putt from just off the green in the darkness to post a 5-over 77 and tie for 18th.
Junior Stephanie Meadow followed Talley, putting from just off the back edge, and ran her birdie putt nine-feet past the hole. Assistant coach Susan Rosenstiel helped Meadow read the par putt as the Northern Ireland native found the bottom of the cup for a round of 75. She is tied with Kirby in seventh place, two shots off the opening-round lead.
Sophomore Daniela Lendl also carded a 5-over 77 and is tied for 18th. Junior Hannah Collier struggled in her return to her home course, shooting a season-high 84. Collier was one of 24 players – 34 percent of the field – to shoot in the 80s on Friday in the difficult scoring conditions.
"I think we can definitely hit the ball better," Potter said. "Our ball striking was a little shaky in spots. Although on some of the harder holes we hit some really outstanding shots. I am looking forward to getting past this first round, getting a litter better weather and seeing what we can do."
Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi State and South Carolina are all tied for third place at 18-over 306. Vanderbilt is in seventh at 309 while Tennessee and Missouri are tied for eighth (312) with Arkansas rounding out the top 10 at 313.