By Cameron Jourdan
Special to The Tuscaloosa News

STILLWATER, Okla – When peering down the fairways of Karsten Creek Golf Club, Cheyenne Knight finds a small target and tries to hit it as close as she can.

On Friday, Knight’s 2-under par 70 led the Alabama women’s golf team during the opening round of the NCAA women’s golf championships. The Crimson Tide finished the day at 4-over, trailing only Southern California by one stroke heading into Saturday’s second round of stroke play.

Knight’s strategy for avoiding the visual intimidation of the course worked, as she drilled 16 greens en route to three birdies and one bogey, her lone three putt of the afternoon.

“I hit the ball really well today,” Knight said. “I hit a lot of fairways, and the course is a lot easier playing out of the fairway. I gave myself a lot of birdie opportunities.”

Alabama was at 9-under after Angelica Moresco drained an eagle putt on No. 18 to close her front nine, then the winds picked up. The Crimson Tide made only three birdies on going in after hitting 12 on the way out.

Knight’s score puts her in a tie for fourth, five strokes behind Wake Forest’s Jennifer Kupcho. Kristin Gillman fired a 1-over 73 while Lauren Stephenson carded a 2-over 74.

Alabama coach Mic Potter said he is anticipating getting back on the course.

“I like the fact that we’re late-early (tee times),” Potter said. “Get something to eat, go to bed and get back out here and just kind of keep going.”