SOUTHPORT, North Carolina – Elon University junior Annabelle Ackroyd fought through blustery conditions in the opening round of the Colonial Athletic Association Women’s Golf Championship, posting a one-over par score of 73 to put her in a tie for the lead in the individual competition on April 15. 

Despite gusts of up to 20 mph, Ackroyd made three birdies, four bogeys and 11 pars in her opening round in the number three position. Acrkoyd, who transferred to Elon this offseason after spending the last two seasons at the University of Minnesota, said it was difficult to judge the wind and control her ball at times, but she embraced the challenge of the conditions. 

“I just tried to have fun out there and stay patient,” Ackroyd said. “My assistant coach was telling me to stay patient. It’s tough for everybody, this is happening to everybody on the course, so just try to stay calm.”

With a score of 306, Elon finished the first round tied for second place out of seven teams in the team competition with the University of North Carolina Wilmington, five shots behind first-place College of Charleston. 

Just one shot behind Ackroyd and in a tie for third in the individual competition is junior Svarin Yuenyong, who shot a round of 74. Yuenyong was the first Elon player to tee off and made a team-high 15 pars. She was even par through 13 holes before making a double bogey on the par four 14th hole. 

Sophomore Lotte Fox carded an opening round 78 to finish in a tie for 17th. Fox made the turn at just one over par but made a triple bogey on the par four 10th hole en route to shooting a back-nine 41. Senior Adel Vadkerti posted an 81 and sophomore Apple Ngamwong shot an 83 to close out Elon’s opening round. 

After trailing by 19 shots after the first round of last year’s tournament, Elon is 14 shots closer after this year’s first round. Elon’s women’s golf team has not won a CAA title since joining the conference in 2015. 

For Ackroyd, staying calm, relaxed and focused are the biggest keys for the team for tomorrow’s second round. 

“Bring the good vibes to tomorrow,” Ackroyd said. “Just keep it light and fun. There’s two more days to improve on.” 

Ackroyd said her goal over the next two days is to enjoy this experience as much as she can, especially with Elon’s seniors who are competing in their last CAA Championship.

“It’s the last time that our seniors and fifth years are going to be here with us, so we’re just trying to enjoy the experience because this is our last time as the same team,” Ackroyd said.

The second round at the Reserve Club at St. James will begin tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. Elon’s tee times begin at 10:10 a.m.