NORMAN — After 18 holes of the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic, the Oklahoma women are taking advantage of their familiarity with the course and lead the 17-team field by five strokes at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club.
Placing three individuals among the top 10 in the medalist chase, and with 36 holes remaining, the Sooners are at 4-under par 284 following Monday’s first round.
Three golfers lead the medalist chase, all after firing opening-round 68s: Texas Tech’s Kimberly Kaufmann, Denver’s Tonje Daffnrud and Notre Dame’s Lindsey Weaver.
TCU’s Sanna Nuutinen is a stroke back at 69 and of the five golfers tied in fifth place after opening 70s, three are Sooners. Chirapat Jao-Javenil, Anne Tanguay and Emily Collins each finished 2-under par on their home course Monday.
“I think we played solid,” OU coach Veronique Drouin-Luttrell said. “We made some putts early and took advantage of the nice conditions. Finishing under par is awesome. We haven’t shot under par as a team this year, so it was good to see us do that.”
The 17-team field includes half of the Big 12, with Texas Tech, Kansas, Kansas State and TCU joining the Sooners in the field.
Though her teammate, Jao-Javenil, is the reigning NCAA individual champion, it’s Collins who’s playing No. 1 for the Sooners. She was 1-over after six holes, but made birdie on four of the next five holes to move her round into red numbers.
Tanguay won the tournament last fall and pushed her round to 4-under par before making two late bogeys.
Jao-Javenil’s only bogey came on No. 18.
“They’re both unbelievable players,” Collins said of her teammates. “The three of us each shooting 2-under is exciting. We know this course so well and I think the whole team will continue to play well the next two days.”
The tourney continues this morning at the OU Golf Club, before concluding Wednesday.
Clay HorningFollow me @firstname.lastname@example.org