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Muehlbauer In Top 25 After First Round of NCAA Albuquerque Regional

Muehlbauer In Top 25 After First Round of NCAA Albuquerque Regional


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sophomore left-hander Mallory Muehlbauer is in the top 25 with a round of 74 after the first of three rounds of play in the NCAA Albuquerque Regional hosted by the University of New Mexico on Monday.

Muehlbauer (pictured at right) is tied with five other golfers for 24th place entering Tuesday's second round of play on the UNM South Championship Course, a 6,637-yard, par-72 layout.

Coach Sofie Aagaard's Mustangs, who captured their first Big West Conference championship two weeks ago and are competing in an NCAA regional for the first time in the 17-year history of the program, compiled a four-person 20-over-par 308 total for 15th place in the 18-team field.

Pepperdine leads with a one-under-par 287 total, followed by Stanford at 290 and USC, California and Washington, all tied for third at 295.

The Albuquerque Regional is one of four behind held across the country, each with 18 teams and six individuals. Other regionals are being held at Ironwood Golf and Country Club in Greenville, N.C., The Rawls Course in Lubbock, Texas, and Scarlet Course at Ohio State Golf Course in Columbus, Ohio.

The 2017 NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is scheduled for May 19-24 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill. Each of the four regionals will send the top six teams as well as the top three individuals not on teams advancing to the nationals hosted by Northern Illinois University.

Mustangs Jamie Binns and Desiree Gillaspy are in a tie for 49th place with 77s while Jamie Harada is tied for 80th at 80. Sophie Bergland is tied for 85th with an 81.

"We got off to a good start on the first nine, handling the challenges of this course well," said Aagaard. "The greens are fast, undulated and firm with tough pin positions, a great post season championship course.

"The wind picked up on the back nine and we stumbled a bit on the last four holes. That's where we dropped strokes coming in," Aagaard added. "All those holes played into the gusting wind.

Muehlbauer, a transfer from Brigham Young, carded three birdies and five bogeys Monday.

"Mallory had a good day, steady through the round from tee to green," said Aagaard. "A 74 today is a job well done."

Individual leader after 18 holes is Laura Kowohl of North Carolina State with a three-under-par 69, one stroke ahead of Pepperdine's Tatiana Wijaya. Albane Valenzuela of Stanford is third with a 71.

Binns and Muehlbauer are tied for fifth in par-4 scoring at even par. Muehlbauer's three birdies are tied for 11th place.

Cal Poly will tee off from the 10th hole Tuesday from 8:24 to 9 a.m. PDT.

Cal Poly won four tournaments during the regular season — the season-opening Hobble Creek Fall Classic in Springville, Utah, Battle at the Rock in Riverside, Calif., the Bobcat Desert Invitational in Goodyear, Ariz., and the Big West finals, also in Riverside at the Oak Quarry Golf Club.

The Mustangs also finished second three times.