COLUMBIA — The Missouri women's golf team is in 14th place after Monday's two opening rounds of the Johnie Imes Invitational. The tournament is being held at the Old Hawthorne Golf Club in Columbia.
Missouri's team score was 628 through 36 holes, putting them ahead of only Nebraska's team score of 634.
Senior Nicola Race led the Tigers with rounds of 76 and 77, finishing in a tie for 38th place.
Even with the disappointing results on the first day of the tournament, Missouri coach Stephanie Priesmeyer is keeping things in perspective.
"We are missing one of our best players, Hannah Lovelock, and we have four new kids out of five in our lineup, which is a pretty big turnover for our sport," she said. "They (the new players) have to get confident so they don't get so nervous and anxious at the beginning of the tournament."
The tournament is important for the team's improvement heading into the end of the fall season, but it is also important because it is the only regular season tournament that the Tigers are hosting this season.
"We hope that when people leave here, they spread the word that this is a great tournament," Priesmeyer said. "We think it's eventually going to evolve into one of the premier tournaments in the Midwest. We want people to beg to get in."
A big reason why so many quality teams are in this year's field is because the Old Hawthorne Golf Club is also hosting the Big 12 Championship in April 2011. Eight Big 12 teams are competing in the tournament.
Oklahoma State, one of the Big 12 teams, captured the tournament lead after the first day of play, with a team score of 579. Colorado is the closest competitor, finishing with a 587.
The 15 competing teams will play 18 more holes Tuesday to finish the two-day, 54-hole tournament.