Bell bidding for her first career medalist
WAYNESVILLE, N.C. -- Tennessee Tech’s Katherine Bell blistered the course for a three-under 69 and is tied for the individual lead after the first round of the Great Smokies Invitational, with a final round scheduled Sunday.
The Golden Eagles, meanwhile, are in a logjam of teams packed in the middle of the 24-team standings. Tech is tied for 14th place, but find themselves just five shots out of third place in the tight race.
Jacksonville State, which has one of the other three players tied for the individual lead in Lucia Fernandez, owns the team lead after shooting a 289 total Saturday. Bowling Green State (294) is in second place with Appalachian State and Old Dominion (299) tied for third.
Four teams – UAB, Elon, William & Mary and host Western Carolina – are next at 300 in a tie for fifth place. Radford (301) is ninth, followed by Middle Tennessee (302), and a three-way tie between Wofford, Gardner-Webb and Presbyterian (303) next. The Golden Eagles and Western Kentucky (304) are tied for 14th place, with nine teams lining up behind them.
Bell, a sophomore from Jackson, Tenn., carded a 34 on the front nine and a 35 on the back for her 69. She’s tied with JSU’s Fernandez, Jaime Ritter of UAB and Rachel Lewis of USC Upstate.
Freshman Amber Shepherd is next for Tech on the leaderboard, shooting a 76 to place her in a tie for 39th. Carley Rhyne (79) is tied for 76th, followed by Amanda Randolph and Ericka Wann (80) tied for 84th place.