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HOUSTON, Texas - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's golf team shook off a slow start to keep itself right in the mix to repeat as national champions, standing in ninth place just nine shots back after the first of four rounds of the NCAA Division III Championship on Tuesday at the Bay Oaks Country Club.
Redlands ended up with the lead after the first day with a 306, one shot ahead of Methodist and DePauw and three ahead of Williams. The Athenas, who won last year's national title in a playoff over Williams, finished with a 315 on Tuesday to stand nine shots back with three rounds to go. However, they are in familiar territory and will try to repeat history from the SCIAC Championships, when they were 12 shots behind Redlands after the first day with only two rounds to go, and ended up improving by leaps and bounds as the tournament went on, running away with the tournament by 19 strokes.
Freshman Amy Xue had the top round for CMS on Tuesday, finishing with a 76 (+4) to tie for 16th out of 131 golfers in the field. Xue actually was +2 after her first hole, suffering a double-bogey on the 10th to start her round, but settled in and had 15 pars over her final 17 holes, including the last eight in a row, to finish in the top 20 on the individual leaderboard. Xue, the individual medalist at the SCIAC Championships, stands five shots behind Bailey Plourde of Centre, who shot a 1-under 71.
Sophomore Mira Yoo also parred her last eight holes after taking the turn at +6. She moved up into a tie for 39th at 79 (+7) with her solid finish and stands poised to make a run up the leaderboard over the next three days.
Senior Kelly Ransom, sophomore Emily Attiyeh and junior Emma Kang each finished with an 80 to tie for 49th place. Kang had the most dramatic finish to the day, earning an eagle with a 2 on the par-4 ninth on her final hole to jump into the top 50.
CMS will look to close the gap between itself and the top few teams tomorrow, when it tees off with a later tee time after being in the first group today. The four-day tournament will conclude on Friday when the championship will be decided.
CMS Women's Golf Sits in Top 10 After First Day of NCAA Division III Championships
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