VASS, N.C. – On a Monday that saw snow falling almost continuously, and approximately three inches accumulated the night before, the St. Andrews Spring Invitational was forced to delay round one until noon.
Although temperatures never climbed above 36 degrees, and the wind blew 15 to 25 miles per hour, the Lions battled their way to the top of the six-team leaderboard. Taking the course without being able to play a practice round, it was up to co-captains Meghan Costello and Anna Riss to prepare the team by going through their yardage books during a team meeting the night before round one. The upperclassmen knew the course thanks to a second place finish at the event a year prior.
Armed with those books and plenty of layered clothing, the Lions fought through the adverse conditions to finish with a 348 total. Anderson University currently sits eight strokes back in second with a 356, and Mount Olive College rounds out the top three with a 384. Erskine College managed a 394, while tournament host Saint Andrews Presbyterian College and Limestone College finished at 437 and 458 respectively.
Individually, junior Anna Riss paces the 32-player field. By firing a first-round 79, Anna was the only player to break the 80 barrier. It did not come easy for the junior, however, as she managed a 37-over the first nine holes and a 42-over the back nine, needing a critical up-and-down on the final hole in order to solidify her round in the 70s. Five strokes back is Laura Buyers of Anderson University, and Saint Leo sophomore Kristina Carvalho currently sits tied for third after her first round 85.
Rounding out the scoring for Saint Leo is senior Meghan Costello who finds herself in the seventh after an opening round 89, and freshman Goeun Lee in 11th with a 95.
The Lions will return for round two with an 11:00 a.m. shotgun start. They will look to make it two-in-a-row as they claimed the 2009 Ann Rhoads Southern Shoot-Out Championship a week ago.