Hoagland’s birdie binge highlights Day 1

Hoagland’s birdie binge highlights Day 1

MARICOPA, Ariz. — Montana’s Hailey Hoagland carded 10 birdies in 36 holes on Monday as the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic got underway at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa, Ariz.

The Butte High graduate shot rounds of 71 and 72 on the par-72 course and is tied for seventh in the standings, three strokes off the lead. She helped the Grizzlies post scores of 302 and 307. (Results)

Even with two of its better scores of the spring season, Montana is sitting in 15th place out of 20 teams in a loaded field.

“It was good golf. This is the toughest field we’ve been in this year, fall or spring, so overall I’m pretty happy with it,” said coach Kris Nord.

Hoagland had five birdies in her first nine holes in the morning round, twice shooting her way to 3-under. She had seven birdies overall in her opening 18 holes.

Hoagland had three more birdies in more challenging conditions in the afternoon to offset three bogeys. Her 10 birdies tied Kristin Le of Santa Clara for most in the 109-player field through 36 holes.

She took advantage of every variety of hole on the course, coming up with three birdies on par 3s, three on par 4s and four on par 5s.

“I was really impressed with Hailey’s play,” said Nord. “She putted well this morning. It got tougher this afternoon as the wind started blowing, so to finish with 10 birdies was phenomenal.”

Baylee Barckley (75-76) is tied for 47th, Teigan Avery (77-77), who has played her last six rounds at 77 or better, is tied for 65th, Faith D’Ortenzio (79-82) is tied for 91st and Kari Opatz (80-85) is tied for 105th.

Caylyn Villatora (83-79) and Abby Pfeifer (84-87) are competing as individuals.

Montana is bunched up in the bottom half of the field, surrounded by a number of teams from the Big Sky Conference.

Northern Arizona is eight up on the Grizzlies, Portland State is two strokes better. One stroke behind sits Southern Utah, two back is Eastern Washington and three behind is Montana State.

The top eight teams in the field all shot a pair of sub-300 rounds on Monday. Even so, that group is being dominated by Sacramento State, which carded scores of 279 and 287.

In the Hornets’ morning round, they had countable scores of 68, 70, 70 and 71 to come in at 9-under.

Sacramento State, which has four players at 1-under or better through 36 holes, will take a 14-stroke lead over New Mexico State into Tuesday’s final round.

“We played with NAU and Sac State today, so it was fun to play with two of the best teams in the conference,” said Nord. “Sac State is clearly the real deal.

“It’s a great experience for our girls to play with them, especially for 36 holes. They got to see firsthand where the bar has been set.”

New Mexico State’s Pun Chanachai (75-65) holds the individual lead, though nine players, including Hoagland, are lurking within three strokes.

— Montana Sports Information

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