|Vandals tied for fourth|
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The University of Idaho women’s golf team found its putting rhythm Monday, which led to a two-under 286 and a tie for fourth after the opening round Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown at Boulder Creek Golf Club.
“We played well today,” coach Lisa Johnson said. “I’m proud of them for shooting under par for the first round of the tournament. It will be important that we continue to shoot under par if we are going to move up the ranks.”
Johnson said confidence gained in the team’s last outing led to the collective under-par day, which is nine strokes back of first-round leader UC Davis’ 11-under 277, six back of second-place San Diego State (280) and five back of Pepperdine at 281.
Senior Kayla Mortellaro was low for the Vandals with a four-under 68 and in a three-way tie for third. Pepperdine’s Grace Na set a sizzling pace with her opening-round 63. Christine Wong of San Diego State is second at 67.
Idaho’s other senior, Teo Poplawski, is tied for 11th at two-under 70 with freshman Leilanie Kim tied for 17th at one-under 71. Sophomore Rachel Choi is tied for 65th at 77 and freshman Kaitlyn Oster is one stroke back at 78 and tied for 73rd. Mary Sweeney, playing as an individual, is tied for 86th at 82.
“We’ve gained confidence throughout the course of the semester,” Johnson said. “We’re doing a much better job of getting the ball in the hole. We’ve always been strong from tee to green. Now the putts are starting to fall. That’s encouraging.”