GREENVILLE, N.C. – What word comes to mind when Nina Muehl thinks about her first round at regionals? Crazy.
Muehl, a sophomore at East Tennessee State, carded eight birdies and no bogeys for a 64 at Ironwood Country Club, which gives her a three-shot lead in the individual race. It’s also the lowest score Muehl has ever shot. By four strokes.
Muehl started by birdieing her first two holes, for the comfortable feeling of “having room to play.” She added two more birdies on the back nine (she started at No. 10) before making another birdie at No. 2.
And that’s when things truly got crazy.
Muehl missed her first green of the day at the par-3 third, and was only trying to save par when she chipped in from 10 yards off the green for yet another birdie. She made a “crazy up-and-down” at No. 5 from 80 yards out, and then birdied No. 7 to get to 7 under, which her coach, Stephanie Shelton, quickly discovered and spread throughout the rest of the team. When Muehl sunk her final birdie putt at the ninth, her team members nearly came out of their shoes (which they did again and again each time Nina was approached for an interview).
“It was crazy today, it was just amazing,” Muehl said, clearly at a loss for words. “I played the golf of my life.”
Muehl’s round catapulted East Tennessee State into a three-way tie for sixth with Tulane and Texas Tech.