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Eagles in Second at ODAC Championship

team shot of the bridgewater women at day 1 of ODAC championships

GREENSBORO, N.C. - The Eagles shot their fourth best score of the 2017-18 season, six strokes better than their average, but Bridgewater still trails W&L by 18 strokes after the first round of the ODAC championship. 

"I tip my hat to the ladies," said head coach John Rogers after his team's opening-round 326. "They played a very good round of golf today, but we are facing a tough squad from W&L. They had all five players in the 70s today and made 14 birdies, so there's not much we can do about that other than buckle down and get ready for tomorrow."

The Eagles came out strong with Casey Gaffney only 1-over through five, starting on the back nine. Christina Herbert was 1-over through eight, Jesse Bartley was +2 through seven, and Amanda Kelley was just +3 after seven holes despite some early bunker issues. But during the same stretch W&L had two players under par and the whole team was +2 or better.

Herbert trailed several of the Washington & Lee players throughout the day, but finished strong, with a birdie on her final hole and a back nine of +1. Her three-over total of 76 puts her in a tie with Liza Freed and Hannah Jones of W&L as she pursues her third ODAC title.

Kelley continued her impressive spring season, posting 80 (+7) after being +4 through three. She is in seventh place behind Herbert and the five Generals. She had three birdies on the round.

Bartley has also had a successful month, following her third-place finish last week with an 82 on Sunday. This ties her third-best collegiate performance, just when the team needed it. She is in eighth place overall.

Gaffney turned with a strong 41, but gave up a few shots on the final holes to post 88.

Abby Papke has been fighting illness for several days and tried to start the round before withdrawing after eight holes.

While the Eagles trail W&L by 18 strokes, they have a significant lead over the remaining four teams in the field. The championship might conclude on Monday, a day early, as the ODAC plans a shotgun start at 8:30 and an attempt to play 36 holes due to rain expected in Greensboro the next two days.

"We knew coming in we had an uphill battle this week, but if we play 36 holes in the rain tomorrow, anything could happen," said Rogers. "The ladies proved last year in the championship, playing through three days of cold rain, that they don't mind the challenge."

Live Scoring will be available tomorrow on Golfstat: