French Lick, Ind. - Three Huskers fired solid opening rounds to put themselves in the top 15 after the first day of the Big Ten Women's Golf Tournament at the Donald C. Ross Course on Friday.
Nebraska senior Kayla Knopik (Papillion, Neb.) shot a three-over-par opening-round 75 to lead the Huskers to a tie for sixth (309) in the team standings after the first 18 holes of the 54-hole event. Knopik's round included 14 pars, one birdie, two bogeys and one double-bogey on the day.
Knopik was one shot better than senior teammate Madeleine Sheils (Boise, Idaho) and sophomore Steffi Neisen (New Prague, Minn.) on Friday, as NU"s top two players in the lineup added 76's on the day. Sheils started slow, going four-over-par on the first three holes of the round, before regrouping to play par golf over the final 15 holes with two birdies and two bogeys to go along with 11 pars.
On a day when none of the 72 players in the tournament broke par, all three of Nebraska's top players are well within striking distance of the tournament leaders - Nora Lucas (72) and Caroline Powers (Michigan State) - who both carded 72 in the first round. Three players managed 73's to tie for third after one round, while five players sit just one stroke ahead of Knopik in a tie for sixth place at 74.
The trio helped the Huskers produce a 309 team total on the 6,156-yard layout of the Ross Course at the French Lick Resort. Sophomore Remylee Molyneux (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) provided Nebraska's fourth score with an 82, while playing out of the No. 6 spot in the Husker lineup in the six, count-four format.
Sophomore Katelyn Wright (Incline Village, Nev.) added an 84, as did senior Katie Keiser (Gothenburg, Neb.) who closed the first round in a tie for 55th.
Ohio State and Michigan State sit atop the team standings after posting identical first-round scores of 298. Illinois is third at 304, while Michigan closed the opening day in fourth at 305. Northwestern (307) enters Saturday's second round just two strokes ahead of Nebraska and Penn State, while Purdue is one shot back of the Huskers and Nittany Lions at 310.
The Big Ten Tournament continues on Saturday with a single round beginning with tee times off 1 and 10 at 8 a.m. central time.
Big Ten Women's Golf Tournament
April 27-29, 2012
Donald C. Ross Course at French Lick Resort (French Lick, Ind.)
Par 72 / 6,156 Yards
Team Standings (First Round)
T1. Ohio State - 298
T1. Michigan State - 298
3. Illinois - 304
4. Michigan - 305
5. Northwestern - 307
T6. Nebraska - 309
T6. Penn State - 309
8. Purdue - 310
T9. Minnesota - 318
T9. Wisconsin - 318
11. Iowa - 319
12. Indiana - 334
Individual Standings (First Round)
T1. Nora Lucas, Illinois - 72
T1. Caroline Powers, Michigan State - 72
T3. Claudia Lim, Ohio State - 73
T3. Jackie Shepherd, Minnesota - 73
T3. Lindsey Solberg, Michigan State - 73
T6. Elyse Archambault, Penn State - 74
T6. Megan Bauer, Michigan - 74
T6. Amy Meier, Ohio State - 74
T6. Liz Nagel, Michigan State - 74
T6. Rachel Rohanna, Ohio State - 74
T11. Kayla Knopik - 75
T15. Madeleine Sheils - 76
T15. Steffi Neisen - 76
T50. Remylee Molyneux - 82
T55. Katelyn Wright - 84
T55. Katie Keiser - 84