Tubert goes from one 'Big Break' to another in first tourney as a pro

Emily Tubert arrived Thursday at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G a little late, just one day prior to Friday's first round of play in the LPGA event.

Taking part in her first tournament as a professional after following four successful years competing on the collegiate level at the University of Arkansas, the Burroughs graduate had to rush to the event.

Tubert had a good excuse for her tardiness, however, as she was busy the previous two weeks filming the upcoming season of the Golf Channel's "Big Break Myrtle Beach," which wrapped up production Wednesday. "Big Break" is the Golf Channel's reality golf competition series.

Despite being a bit tired after her foray into the entertainment industry, Tubert took to the Pinnacle Country Club course in Rogers, Ark. Friday for the first round of her professional debut. Tubert played a steady round, finishing the 18 holes with a three-over-par 74.

"After two weeks of filming, it was just nice to get back to play a regular round of golf," Tubert said. "It was kind of hectic for me because we wrapped filming on Wednesday and I come in and arrive for my first tournament as a professional on the day before.

"I was just looking so forward to playing in this tournament, a tournament I've played before. It was also nice to be back in Arkansas where I went to school."

Tubert, who tees off at 6 a.m. PST Saturday in the second round, is in a 16-way tie for 108th place.

Tubert, who was granted a sponsorship exemption into the event, began her first round in strong fashion on the 6,386-yard course. She parred the No. 1 hole, birdied the par-5 second hole and had an even three on the No. 3 hole. But then Tubert ran into a little trouble, firing bogeys on the fourth and fifth holes to go one-over-par on the round.

She was able to get back on track on the next hole, however, shooting even on the par-four No. 6 hole. But again Tubert found herself with a bogey on the seventh hole before parring the eighth and ninth holes to hit the turn with a two-over-par 38.

Over the course of the next five holes, Tubert remained consistent, parring Nos. 10-14. She was then able to notch her second birdie of the round on the par-three 15th hole. She then hit a big snag on the No. 16 hole, coming away with a double-bogey in the par-4 layout.

"I got the birdie on 15, then a strange thing happened on 16," Tubert said. "I hit a perfect tee shot … but there was a tree on the right side of the fairway that I didn't even pay attention to. I ended up pushing my shot, hit the tree and the ball shot left at 90 degrees right into a hazard."

Tubert was able to bounce back and ended the round by parring the 17th and 18th holes to end with a first-round total of 74.

"I thought I played pretty solid," Tubert said. "I hit some great shots and I putted pretty well."

Topping the leader board after the first round was Alena Sharp of Canada, who fired a six-under-par 65. She was followed by Michelle Wie and Alejandra Llaneza, who are both one stroke off the lead.

In her round, Tubert hit 11 of 18 greens in regulation, putted 30 times and her drives off the tee averaged 258 yards. Along with 12 pars, she had three bogeys, two birdies and one double bogey.

Tubert, who just graduated from Arkansas after four seasons, was a three-time All-American and a four-time All-Southeastern Conference first-team honoree for the Razorbacks.

This is Tubert's third time receiving a sponsor's invite into the tournament, with her best finish coming in 2011 when she finished in a tie for 48th after shooting 74-68-71 — 213.

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