STRONG START, ROUGH FINISH LEAVES WOMEN'S GOLF IN THIRD PLACE AFTER FIRST ROUND OF BIG SKY CHAMPIONSHIPS

STRONG START, ROUGH FINISH LEAVES WOMEN'S GOLF IN THIRD PLACE AFTER FIRST ROUND OF BIG SKY CHAMPIONSHIPS

BOULDER CITY, Nev. — The Sacramento State women's golf team's quest for a second consecutive Big Sky Conference title was off to a good start through the opening 14 holes of the first round on Monday at Boulder Creek Golf Club. Unfortunately for the Hornets, the final four holes were not as kind as the team slid to third place at the end of the round.

Sacramento State shot 301 on Monday — it's highest total since shooting 303 on Feb. 27. The Hornets' score leaves the team five strokes off the pace of Idaho and Portland State for the tournament lead. The three schools will again be paired with one another on Saturday in the second round which will get under way at 7 a.m.

Junior Julia Becker led the team in the opening round with a 1-over par round of 73. Becker, who was raised in nearby Las Vegas, started play with a birdie on the par-4 first hole but suddenly jumped to 3-over after a quadruple bogey on the par-4 third. Two holes later she bogeyed the par-5 fifth to take her to 4-over par. Becker eventually worked her way back to even after birdies on the par-3 eighth, par-4 11th, par-3 12th and par-5 16th. Her streak ended with a bogey on the par-3 17th but she closed the day with a par on No. 18.

Senior Astha Madan was the only member of the team to play the final four holes under par. Madan shot 75 during the day but was 1-under over her final seven holes. She was 1-under after a birdie on the par-5 second but a double bogey on No. 5 brought her above par where she remained the rest of the day. Madan made the turn at 2-over par and jumped to 4-over following a double bogey on the par-4 11th. She had six pars as well as a birdie on the par-5 16th to wrap up her day.

Sofie Babic was one stroke behind Madan with a 4-over par round of 76. Babic was even on the front side of the course with birdies on the par-5 second and par-3 fourth as well as bogeys on No. 1 and 6. The sophomore started the back nine with three pars before a birdie on the par-5 13th dropped her back into the red. A double bogey on the par-4 14th reversed that trend and, after a par, she bogeyed her final three holes.

Corinne Viden ranked among the tournament leaders through 14 holes as the Big Sky Freshman of the Year was 1-under par with birdies on the par-3 eighth and par-5 13th as well as a bogey on the par-3 fourth. However, Viden played her final four holes at 6-over with bogeys on the par-4 15th and 18th sandwiched around double bogeys on the par-5 16th and par-3 17th.

Nishtha Madan parred her first four holes in the round but was 2-over at the midway point following bogeys on Nos. 5 and 8. She recorded her first birdie on the par-4 10th and stayed at 1-over until a double bogey on the 15th. A second double bogey came two holes later and she concluded the first round with a bogey on No. 18 to give her a total of 78.

Defending individual champion Sofia Anokhina of Northern Arizona is the individual leader at 3-under par (69). Freshman Windy Huang of Portland State (70) and Idaho's Michelle Kim (71) were the only other golfers to finish below par.

BIG SKY CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS
Boulder City, Nev. | Boulder Creek GC
Par 72 | 6,395 Yards

TEAM STANDINGS
T1. Idaho 296
T1. Portland State 296
3. SACRAMENTO STATE 301
T4. Montana 306
T4. Eastern Washington 306
T4. Northern Arizona 306
T7. Northern Colorado 315
T7. Montana State 315
9. Southern Utah 317
10. North Dakota 320
11. Weber State 321
I12. daho State 348

INDIVIDUAL TOP FIVE
1. Sofia Anokhina, NAU, 69
2. Windy Huang, PSU, 70
3. Michelle Kim, UI, 71
T4. Tara Finigan, PSU, 72
T4. Kelly Hooper, MSU, 72

SACRAMENTO STATE SCORES
T6. Julia Becker 73
T10. Astha Madan 75
T14. Sofie Babic 76
T21. Corinne Viden 77
T25. Nishtha Madan 78