NORMAN, Okla. – After the opening round of play at the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship, the Bearkats sit in 15thplace overall. 


After a bit of a slow start to the first NCAA Regional in school history, the Bearkat women’s golfers made a charge at the end of the day climbing two spots on the final three holes.


"I’m proud of the girls. This is a tough golf course and with the rain last night it is playing a lot long than we are used to and even longer than the practice round yesterday,” said head coach Brandt Kieschnick. “I’m proud of the way they finished the round. We had some birdies coming in and we jumped a few spots.”


Kenlie Barrett and Hanna Alberto lead the way for the Kats, both shooting 1-over rounds of 73. For Barrett, she closed the day with 12 straight pars.


“She fought hard, and her short game bailed her out,” Kieschnick said. “She missed it in the right spots and gave herself some good up and downs. She had good course management and knew where to miss it. She stayed mentally tough.”


Barrett, who started the day on No. 10, bogeyed Nos. 11 and 14, before getting one back with a birdie at No. 15. She then finished with 12 pars to close out the round. Her 15 pars on the day were second-most in the field. 


For Alberto, she had an up and down round. Bogeys at Nos. 11, 12 and 14 and birdies at Nos. 13 and 15 gave her a 1-over score on her first nine holes. She then had two bogeys and two birdies, including one on No. 9 to close out her day.  


“The wind was blowing pretty hard and the greens started getting faster towards the end,” Alberto said. “I had to adjust my speed, but overall it was pretty good.”  


Jenna Phillips also got a late birdie for the Kats to help jump a few spots on the team leaderboard. She birdies the par 5, No. 8 and closed her round with a 75, and is three-over for the tournament. 


The Kats will tee off at 8:30 Tuesday for the second round. They will be playing with Pepperdine and TCU.