Conor Kvatek/American Athletic Conference
Women's Golf

Abonce soars to individual lead, UTSA in contention after first round of AAC Championship

BROOKSVILLE, Fla. — Daniela Abonce has the individual lead and the UTSA women’s golf team is in fourth place after the first round of the American Athletic Conference Championship, which got underway Monday at Southern Plantation Club (par 72/6,289 yards).

Abonce fired a 6-under-par 66 to soar to the top of the individual leaderboard, while Camryn Carreon carded a 3-under 69 to help lead the Roadrunners to a 6-under 282, the program’s second-best team score recorded in a conference tournament behind only a 281 posted at the 2019 Conference USA Championship.

UTSA is only one shot behind No. 36 South Florida (281), three back of East Carolina (279) and four off the pace of No. 27 SMU, which turned in the top round of the day with a 10-under 278. The Roadrunners are one stroke in front of Tulsa (283) and four clear of No. 46 North Texas (286) in the 12-team field.

Abonce’s 6-under scorecard has given the sophomore a one-shot advantage over SMU’s Mackenzie Lee and East Carolina’s Danielle Modder with 36 holes left to play. Her 66 is the best round ever posted by a Roadrunner at a conference tournament and it is tied for the third-best score in program history.

A native of Veracruz, Mexico, Abonce racked up seven birdies against just one bogey on the opening day. After writing down par on her first three holes, she posted back-to-back birdies on Nos. 4-5 and then closed out a 4-under 32 on the front nine with circled numbers on the 476-yard, par-5 seventh and 300-yard, par-4 ninth holes. She settled for her only bogey of the day on No. 10 but bounced back with birdies on three consecutive holes — Nos. 15-17 — en route to a 2-under 34 on the back.

Meanwhile, Carreon also is in contention for the individual title after registering a 69 on Monday to give her a share of seventh place. The senior from San Antonio countered her only bogey of the day with a birdie on the 492-yard, par-5 fifth hole as part of an even-par 36 on the front. The 2023 NCAA San Antonio Regional champion added birdies on the 490-yard, par-5 12th, the 358-yard, par-4 15th and 376-yard, par-4 18th holes in posting a 3-under 33 on the back.

Olivia Williams also posted a red number on Monday, tallying a 1-under 71, good for a tie for 15th. The sophomore from Worcestershire, England, logged four birdies — two on each side — against just two bogeys for her 11th par-or-better scorecard of the season.

Morgan Ellison and Maria Bastarrica round out the UTSA lineup in 42nd (76) and 55th (79), respectively.

The second round is slated for Tuesday and the Roadrunners will tee off from No. 1 beginning at 7 a.m. CT.