The No. 42 Washington women’s golf team entered its first preseason as the reigning national champions. The Huskies, however, did not have the start they may have hoped for as they fell outside the top five and finished in seventh place after shooting 20-over 308.
The conditions were certainly not in any team’s favor, as winds blistered through the course all morning. The UW joined the 10 other Pac-12 teams at the conference championships at Sewailo Golf Club in Tempe, Ariz. Four schools have entered the tournament in the top 10: No. 2 Stanford, No. 3 UCLA, No. 5 Arizona State, and No. 7 USC.
No team was able to finish under par on the tough par-72, 6,583-yard course, but UCLA has claimed the top spot on the leaderboard after day one at 2-over 290.
One Husky from the five-woman roster, sophomore Wenyung Keh, finished inside the top 10. She finished the first round 2-over 74 after three birdies and five bogeys.
Freshman Ellen Takada pulled off a top-15 performance after opening her round with a double bogey on the par-5 10th hole, as competition started on split tees. She recovered well over the next five holes and went even par until a bogey on the 16th hole, and two more on the second and fourth holes, added to her score. Takada entered the clubhouse with a 3-over 75 with the help of two birdies on the front nine.
Sophomores Julianne Alvarez (6-over 78) and Sarah Rhee (11-over 83) and freshman Karen Miyamoto (9-over 81) rounded out Washington’s roster.
Alvarez recorded three double bogeys in the first round, but ended with back-to-back birdies on the the seventh and eighth holes to claim a spot in the seven-way tie for 27th place. Miyamoto had the opposite start, beginning her round with a birdie, but then quickly reserving her momentum with a triple bogey on the par-4 12th hole. She ended tied for 44th place. Rhee finished tied for 50th place after a double bogey opened her round and a triple bogey on the front nine.
Washington will be paired with Cal for round two of the 54-hole tournament. Tee times will begin at 8 a.m. off the 10th hole.
Reach reporter Alexis Mansanarez at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @almansanarez