FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Sparked by her first-ever hole in one, Marta Silva Zamora shot a 3-under 69 to grab a share of the individual lead and pace the ninth-ranked Georgia women’s golf team to a 308 in Friday’s opening round of the Southeastern Conference Championships at Blessings Golf Club.
Silva Zamora is tied with Patricia Sanz of Auburn, a stroke ahead of Vanderbilt’s Marina Alex. The Bulldogs are in fourth place, two shots from second but 11 off the pace of No. 2 Alabama.
“You obviously can’t win a championship on the first day, but you can lose one,” head coach Kelley Hester said. “We didn’t lose it. We would like to be a little closer to the lead, but the early morning tee time and the windy conditions proved to be very difficult. We survived it, though, and we’ll go out tomorrow and the next day and try to chip away at the lead and see where we end up.”
Georgia also counted a 76 from Emilie Burger, an 80 from Rocio Sanchez Lobato and an 83 from Milena Savich. Overall, Burger is tied for 11th, Sanchez Lobato is tied for 33rd, Savich is tied for 51st and Hill is tied for 58th.
Silva Zamora turned at 2-under, bookending seven pars with bogeys at Nos. 1 and 9, before playing the back nine at 5 under. At No. 10, she knocked her 7-iron about a foot to the right of the hole. Following a small hop to the left, backspin brought the ball into the cup for for Silva Zamora’s first ace.
“I’d never had one,” Silva Zamora said. “I’ve been close, but one has never gone in. I had about 150 or 155 yards and it was actually a good shot … It wasn’t one of those lucky ones. After that, I just started playing really well. I don’t think I had a putt much longer than 10 feet the rest of the day.”
The Crimson Tide’s 297 leads No. 5 Auburn at 306, No. 15 Florida at 307, the Bulldogs at 308, Arkansas and Ole Miss at 309, No. 7 LSU at 310, No. 24 South Carolina and Mississippi State at 315, Kentucky at 317, No. 10 Vanderbilt at 318 and No. 13 Tennessee at 320.
The Bulldogs will be paired with Arkansas and LSU for Saturday’s second round, teeing off around 9:30 a.m.