The Missouri women's golf team used a strong start to Friday's opening round of the SEC Championships, leading after 13 holes before fading late, to end up in a tie for eighth, nine shots off the pace set by LSU.
Taylor Gohn led the way with a 5-over-par 77 for the Tigers on a breezy, brisk day at the Greystone Golf & Country Club in Birmingham, Ala. Gohn was solid early, making the turn to her back nine at even par, before losing ground over the final six holes in what proved to be a theme for Missouri's day.
"We had the advantage after 13 holes, but everyone really struggled to finish the final six holes today," Missouri coach Stephanie Priesmeyer said. "Every team out here is ranked ahead of us and this is a national championship caliber tournament ... we have to stick with it mentally if we want to compete."
The Tigers fired a collective 24-over 312 for the day, placing them in a tie with No. 32 Tennessee and ahead of teams that included No. 6 Arkansas and No. 7 Florida.
Junior Alina Rogers was 3-over before the final three holes, where she finished with a double bogey and a bogey to card a 6-over 78. Every Missouri golfer had a double bogey on their scorecard in the final six holes except for Michelle Butler, who bogeyed the final four holes to also tally a 6-over 78.
"Hopefully we play more consistently (the next two days), instead of falling apart on the back nine like today," Priesmeyer said. "I don't think we need to win this tournament to make it (into the NCAA Tournament), but I do think we need to beat a fair number of teams to make it in."
Laura Kraft tees off for Missouri at 10 a.m. on Saturday with the remainder of the team beginning their rounds in 10-minute intervals following her.