MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (AStateRedWolves.com) — Arkansas State true freshman Abi Laker completed the first day of competition at the Sun Belt Conference Women's Golf Championships tied for a team-best 11th place, and the Red Wolves recorded a 316 Monday on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at The Shoals to end the opening round in 10th place out of 11 teams.
The Red Wolves finished the first round just four strokes behind ninth-place Louisiana-Monroe and within a single-digit stroke margin of sixth-place South Alabama and North Texas. Florida International recorded a 298 to lead the field, while Middle Tennessee stands second with a 300 and Troy third at 301.
Laker, who has five top-25 finishes this season, enjoyed her first round since carding a 74 in the Jim West Challenge to start the spring portion of the Red Wolves' schedule. Laker's 3-over 75 leaves her four strokes behind leaders Sofia Berglund of UALR and Meghan MacLaren of Florida International.
Sophomore Marie Couffignal narrowly missed finishing the opening day among the top-25 individual leaders, recording a 78 to place her tied for 27th. Also competing for the Red Wolves, junior Courtney Manning is tied for 42nd place with an 81 and senior Jennifer Loiacano tied for 47th with an 82. Senior Anna Carling, the 2011 Sun Belt Conference Championships individual medalist, is currently in 51st place after shooting an 84.
The tournament's second round will be played Tuesday morning, and the third and final round will be held Wednesday.
ARKANSAS STATE RESULTS
Place, Name (RD 1--TOTAL)
10, Arkansas State (316--316)
T11, Abi Laker (75--75)
T27, Marie Couffignal (78--78)
T42, Courtney Manning (81--81)
T47, Jennifer Loiacano (82--82)
51, Anna Carling (84--84)