State College, Pa. -- Furman's Laura Wearn (+5) fired a first round 77 on Thursday to grab a share of 59th at the NCAA Women's Golf East Regional at the Penn State Blue Course in State College, Pa.
The junior, playing at the NCAA East Regional as an individual, carded a one-over 37 on the back nine, but followed with bogeys on four of her first five holes after making the turn to shoot a 40 on the front nine. The Charlotte, N.C., native is 10 strokes behind first round lead Katerina Ruzickova of Texas A&M after 18 holes of the 54-hole tournament.
No. 25 South Carolina carded an opening-round 288 to hold a four-stroke advantage over second-ranked Alabama while the University of Florida rounded out the top three with a six-over 294.
Teams competing in the East Regional are Alabama, Arizona State, Duke, Texas A&M, Florida, Arizona, Oklahoma State, South Carolina, Michigan State, Washington, Texas, Tulane, UCF, Wake Forest, Northwestern, San Diego State, Kent State, Maryland, Augusta State, Campbell, Chattanooga, Oral Roberts, Penn State, Jacksonville State and LIU Brooklyn. Fanny Cnops (UNCG), Charlotte Lorentzen (Georgia State), Katie Mundy (FIU), Michelle Piyapattra (Columbia) will join Wearn in competing as individuals.
The top eight teams in the regional's 24-team field and top two individuals not on a qualifying team at the NCAA East Regional will advance to the NCAA Championships May 22-25, at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn.
Furman fans can follow Wearn's quest to earn a berth in the NCAA Championships through live scoring of the 2012 NCAA East Regional at www.GolfStatResults.com.