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Montana opens Red Rocks Invitational with 312

03 Dec 2021 | 07:04 | Golf

The Montana women’s golf team opened play at the Red Rocks Invitational with a score of 312 on Saturday as the two-day, 54-hole event got under way at the Oakcreek Country Club in Sedona, Ariz.

Round 2 was suspended by darkness with the Grizzlies a few holes from finishing.

Montana is tied for 12th on an 18-hole leaderboard that has just 28 strokes separating leader Grand Canyon (294) and 19th-place Northern Colorado (322).

“It’s a difficult course in terms of getting on the greens and putting. It caused everybody problems,” said coach Kris Nord.

“The greens are real hard to hit. That was our problem, then we didn’t putt well on top of that. It’s a challenging layout.”

The Grizzlies were led in Round 1 by sophomore Jessica Ponce, who used three late birdies to shoot a 3-over 75, her best round as a collegiate golfer. She is tied for 16th.

“She managed the course real well,” said Nord. “She stayed in play and avoided any big holes. The rest of our kids had a couple double- and triple-bogey holes, but Jess just kept it together.”

Teigan Avery, Faith D’Ortenzio and Kylie Esh are all tied for 57th after opening with scores of 79. Tricia Joyce, who is competing as an individual, carded an 80, Allison Sobol an 84.

Grand Canyon and Gonzaga (297) were the only two schools to break 300 in Round 1. Sacramento State (300), Northern Arizona (303) and Seattle (303) round out the top five.

Grand Canyon’s Payton Fehringer (68), Cal State Fullerton’s Brittany Shin (70) and Southern Utah’s Chanikan Yongyuan (71) all broke par in Round 1.

Round 2 will be completed on Sunday morning, followed by Round 3.