Boulder City, Nev. -- A windy day in southern Nevada led to higher than usual scores during the opening round of the Big Sky Championship. Portland State braved the winds the best by posting a 309 (+21) team score to lead the 12-team field.
The top five teams are only separated by seven strokes and to put the effect of the wind on today's scoring in perspective, Northern Arizona shot a 290 (+2) to open the championship on the same Boulder Creek Golf Course a season ago.
Sophomore Jenna Janu topped the Fighting Hawks with an 83 (+11), while senior Alexis Guggisberg and sophomore Hanna Peterson both carded an 84 (+12). Guggisberg led UND with a trio of birdies, including back-to-back ones on holes 16 and 17.
"The wind was a factor today, but we all had to play in it," UND head coach Natalie Martinson said. "We have some catching up to do and tomorrow's forecast looks better for scoring, so we need to take advantage of that and do our best to move up the leaderboard."
Junior Haily Abel rounded out the scorers for UND on the opening day by posting an 87 (+15) in her debut at the conference tournament. The Fighting Hawks sit in 11th place after posting a 338 (+50). UND opened last year's tournament with a 315 and only got better from there.
Northern Arizona's Sofia Anokhina, who was named the Big Sky Player of the Year earlier this week, was the only golfer in the 60-player field to shoot even par as she made it around the Boulder Creek Golf Course in 72 shots. She holds a two-shot lead on Sacramento State's Sofie Babic and Northern Colorado's Christina Ferreira, who both posted scores of 74 (+2).
The weather forecast for Saturday's second round looks much better with temperatures set to reach into the 80's and winds not projected to go above 10 miles per hour.
Big Sky Championship (First Round Results)
|1.||Portland State||309 (+21)|
|2.||Sacramento State||310 (+22)|
|3.||Northern Colorado||311 (+23)|
|5.||Northern Arizona||316 (+28)|
|t6.||Eastern Washington||323 (+35)|
|t6.||Southern Utah||323 (+35)|
|t6.||Weber State||323 (+35)|
|t9.||Montana State||329 (+41)|
|11.||North Dakota||338 (+50)|
|12.||Idaho State||368 (+80)|
UND Individuals (First Round Results)
|t36.||Jenna Janu||83 (+11)|
|t36.||Alexis Guggisberg||84 (+12)|
|t39.||Hanna Peterson||84 (+12)|
|52.||Haily Abel||87 (+15)|
|t54.||Dani DelGreco||90 (+18)|
-- UND --