Photo: OC sophomore Abigail Rigsby leads the Midwestern State Invitational at the midway point.
WICHITA FALLS, Texas (March 12, 2018) – Abigial Rigsby picked up Monday where she left off last May at Wichita Falls Country Club, which was good news for the Oklahoma Christian golfer.
The sophomore from Courtenay, British Columbia, shot a 1-over-par 73 on the difficult 5,843-yard course to take a one-shot lead over three others on the opening day of the Midwestern State Invitational.
Wichita Falls Country Club hosted last year’s NCAA Division II West Super Regional tournament, for which Rigsby qualified as an individual. After shooting 11-over 83 in the opening round, Rigsby was that tourament’s best player over the final 36 holes, shooting a 71, then a 72 – the latter while battling severe illness – to squeeze into a playoff and earn an individual berth into the Division II Championship.
This time, the other 98 players in the field will be chasing Rigsby. The closest to her entering Tuesday’s final round will be Peerada Piddon of Arkansas Tech, Jess Whitting of Rogers State and Imkeleen Meyer of Newman (Kan.), who each shot a 74.
Piddon helped her team to the first-round lead at 311, two shots ahead of Whitting’s squad. Led by Rigsby, OC posted a team score of 323 and stood eighth in the 19-team field.
Starting on hole No. 10 on Monday, Rigsby was 3-over through 11 holes, but birdies on a pair of par-5s – No. 3 and No. 6 – and another at the par-4 No. 7 pulled her back to even-par before a bogey on the par-4 No. 8.
Rigsby is coming off a runner-up finish (behind Meyer) at last week’s Diffie Ford-Lincoln Invitational at Kickingbird Golf Course in Edmond.
Only one other OC player besides Rigsby was in the top 20 after the first round on Monday – junior Kate Goodwin of Tulsa, who shot a 79 and was tied for 14th.
Rogers State is in second place thanks to the strong play of Jess Whitting and Mica Eastin.
Whitting, who won the St. Edward’s Invitational in RSU’s last tournament, shot 74 and is tied for second, one shot behind Rigsby. Eastin shot 78 and is in ninth, while sophomore Sydney Murray shot 79.
The Hillcats are only two shots back of Arkansas Tech in a field of 19 teams.