SWOSU third after first round of national championship, OC, NSU in hunt

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PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Southwestern Oklahoma State is in rhird place after the opening round of the NCAA Division II Championships, with two individuals in the top-10 following 18 holes of play at PGA National’s Champions Course.

Oklahoma Christian is in ninth place and Northeastern State is 13th after the first round.

Fresh off her third All-Central Region selection, Gloria Choi needed 72 strokes to complete her opening round at 1-under par. Choi recorded four birdies on the day to offset three bogeys and she sits tied for second place after the opening round, three shots off the pace set by Claire Hogle from Cal State San Marcos. Veronika de Bochdanovits is tied for ninth place at 1-over at 74. SWOSU’s final scores came from Elin Wahlin (77) and Jenna Eidem (82), while Chloe Thackeray got off to a rough start at nationals and her score of 93 was discarded from the team score.

Cal State San Marcos is the tournament leader after 18 holes, ahead of Barry University by five strokes. SWOSU trails Barry by just one shot while holding a one shot edge of Indianapolis and Limestone and a three-shot lead over Dallas Baptist in sixth.

The second of three rounds at the Women’s Golf Championships will begin on Wednesday morning.

Led by a sizzling start from freshman Alexandria Bennett, Oklahoma Christian posted a solid first-round score of 313 and stood ninth.

No. 18-ranked OC, making its first appearance in the NCAA Championship tournament, stood only one shot behind eighth-place Grand Valley State (Mich.). That’s important because the top eight teams after the third round on Thursday will advance to match play, which will determine the team title.

The Eagles were among the first of the tournament’s 16 teams to tee off, starting off No. 10 at 7 a.m. Central time, and Bennett, from Plano, Texas, birdied three of her first five holes to take the early individual lead. She eventually finished at 2-over-par 75 on the 6,081-yard course, in a tie for 14th in the 95-woman field.

Junior Abigail Rigsby of Courtenay, British Columbia, had four birdies en route to a 77 that put her in a tie for 28th. Sophomore Shaley Goad of Wheeler, Texas, had three birdies and posted an 80, putting her in a tie for 47th.

OC senior Kate Goodwin of Tulsa shot an 81 and was tied for 57th, while senior Elizabeth Freeman of Edmond posted an 84 and was tied for 79th.

Among the teams trailing OC after one round were No. 5 Florida Tech, No. 8 West Texas A&M, No. 9 Arkansas Tech and No. 14 Findlay (Ohio).

During round two, the Eagles will tee off from No. 1 at 8:40 a.m. Central time, grouped with Florida Tech and Missouri-St. Louis.
No. 25 Northeastern State is eight shots back of the cutline and is in 13th place. The RiverHawks carded a 320 as a team.  Kelsey Lumpkin turned in NSU’s lowest card of the day with a 79 and is even for 40th place overall.  The NSU senior shot a steady round until she found the water twice on the 17th hole and shot a 5-over on the hole.

Storms on Monday afternoon ended the practice round for teams with the RiverHawks not playing most of the back half of the course.

Aitana Hernandez and Ebba Moberg both shot matching 80s and are even for 47th.  Lexi Armon carded an 81 and is tied for 57th overall, and Nina Lee turned in an 84, which landed the freshman tied for 79th place.

The RiverHawks will return to the course on Wednesday morning paired with Barry and Grand Valley State for the second day in a row.  NSU will tee-off on the back nine starting at 7:50 a.m. CT.


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Ken MacLeod

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