April 21, 2008

Rodriguez Leading The Bears In Phoenix

April 21, 2008

PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Paced by two top-10 individual finishes, Northern Colorado's women's golf team sat in fourth place in the team standings Monday after the first day of the Big Sky Conference Golf Championship at Foothills Golf Club.

Pre-tournament favorite Eastern Washington jumped out to the first-day lead with a team score of 300 (+12), but the Bears will enter the second day of competition on Tuesday just 8 strokes back at 308 (+20).

Northern Arizona (302, +14) and Portland State (306, +18) are also ahead of the Bears.

Northern Colorado senior Jenny Henderson (Fargo, N.D.), who last week was honored as a member of this year's all-Big Sky Conference first team, is tied for ninth with two others after firing a first-round 76 on the par-72, 6,131-yard course.

But Henderson wasn't the Bears' top finisher Monday.

That honor went to Gina Rodriguez (Fort Morgan, Colo.), whose first-round 75 had her tied for fifth in the individual standings and was her best 18-hole score of 2008. She also shot a 75 in the second round of the Heather Farr Memorial tournament during Northern Colorado's fall season in early November.

The Bears' Katie Avery (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) shot a 78 Monday and was tied for 17th, and Matti Nelson (Moorhead, Minn.) turned in a 79, which had her tied for 22nd. Heather Daviner (Parker, Colo.) shot a 10-over-82, but only a team's top-four scores count toward the team standings.

Eastern Washington's Kellie Holmsteadt was the only player in the field to break par during the event's opening 18 holes. Her 1-under-par 71 had her two strokes ahead of second-place finisher Hannah Bews (73) of Portland State.

The second round of the tournament is scheduled to begin at 6:52 a.m. Tuesday, and the event is scheduled to conclude Wednesday.