EAU CLAIRE, Wis.—Shannon Holden (Fy./Simi Valley, Calif./Royal) overcame a rough early start by using four birdies en route to a seven-over par 80, leading No. 17 Carleton College to the lead after round one of the BluGold Spring Invitational.
The Knights posted a 329, the only team to break the 330 mark in Saturday’s opening round. No. 19 Carthage College (Wis.) and No. 24 Wartburg College are tied for second at 324 and will join Carleton in the lead group for Sunday’s final round.
Geraldine Tellbuescher (Fy./Ashiya, Japan/Canadian Academy) added an 81 and is tied for fourth while Grace Gilmore (So./Edina, Minn.) sits eighth after an 82.
The field battled winds of 20-30 miles per hour all day, making it tough to control the golf ball, according to head coach Eric Sieger.
“I thought we played very tough mentally today,” Sieger said. “Each player picked out an area to place their focus, and we handled ourselves beautifully despite the taxing conditions.”
Holden got off to a horrid start, making triple bogey on the first hole and finding herself five-over par after three holes. She rode four birdies, including two on the final three holes of the day, in playing those final 15 holes in a mere two-over par. She is tied for the lead with the Wartburg duo of Rochelle Beardsley and Morgan McMillan.
Tellbeuscher continued her steady play of the spring season, making two birdies in looking for her fourth straight top-5 finish. Gilmore was also steady all day, Sieger, said, while Taylor Wells (Jr./Rochester, Minn./Century) battled back from a rough front nine to fire a two-over par 39 on the second nine and end at 86.
“Overall we’re pleased with our performance, but feel like we can take it even lower tomorrow,” he said. “Carthage and Wartburg are both quality teams and conference champions this year, so we will need to be focused and confident like we were today.”
Host UW-Eau Claire is fourth at 340; No. 23 UW-Stout is fifth at 342; and No. 15 St. Thomas is sixth at 343. St. Olaf is seventh at 351 while No. 21 Gustavus is eighth at 355.