Pirates are painting the fairways purple

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NCAA Women’s Regional previews | Staff picks | Complete coverage

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Regionals breakdown: Round 1

Lance Ringler and Asher Wildman break down all of the action from Round 1 of the NCAA Women's Regionals.

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GREENVILLE, N.C. – It’s easy to spot East Carolina on the golf course: Just listen for the cheers and look for the big purple crowd.

Greenville residents have been coming out of the woodwork and walking the fairways of Ironwood Country Club with the home team this week at the East Regional, and many of the fans who have houses just off the course appear to be displaying all the Pirate gear they own. Senior Abby Bools, two-time Conference USA Player of the Year, is one of the most popular players to follow, and says it’s not uncommon to have fans even come out to watch her team practice. Still, this week is unlike the average college golf tournament.

“It’s really cool to have all these people come out and support us,” she said. “Especially yesterday, we had a ton of people on the first tee; that’s really cool. You don’t get that at all at golf tournaments.”

East Carolina ended Round 1 in a tie for 13th at 5-over 293, but the Pirates put up a 17-over 305 Friday. They stand in fifth with just half the field in the clubhouse. Last year, East Carolina grabbed the first-round lead before narrowly missing a national-championship berth. Bools, who is T-40 after back-to-back 73s, said that memory hasn’t really affected the team this year.

“We just kind of squeaked in this year,” she said of the Pirates’ regionals bid. “I think everyone was like, We got in, so let’s just go play. I don’t think anyone was really thinking about what we did last year because Gainesville is such a different golf course than this one.”

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