There’s more college golf going on the next two weeks or so than one blogger can possibly keep up with. But I’ll try while always keeping an eye out for anybody with Philly ties, starting with …
Northwestern, No. 12 in the latest Golfstat rankings, has shared the last two Big Ten team titles with Ohio State.
The Wildcats took the first step toward winning one outright as they carded an even-par 288 to grab a three-shot lead on the opening day of the Big Ten Championship Friday at TPC River’s Bend in Maineville, Ohio. No. 52 Wisconsin, with two players in the top six in the individual chase, is in second place after a 3-over 291. Teams count their four best scores from six players.
No. 33 Michigan is another four shots back in third at 7-over 295. No. 30 Ohio State, like Northwestern a reigning two-time conference champion, is a shot back in fourth at 8-over 296. No. 62 Michigan State, coming off an impressive win in the Lady Buckeye Spring Invitational, is in fifth place at 10-over 298. No. 24 Purdue is sixth at 299 and No. 29 Illinois is seventh at 16-over 304.
No. 75 Penn State, with its core of youngsters recruited out of the Pennsylvania high school ranks, is ninth in the 14-team field at 18-over 306.
Northwestern was led by a trio of players in the top eight in the individual standings. Sarah Cho, a junior from San Diego, carded a 2-under-par 70 over the 6,357-yard, par-72 River’s Bend layout and is tied for second, a shot behind individual leader Elodie Van Dievort, a Michigan sophomore from Belgium.
Stephanie Laui, a sophomore from Fullerton, Calif., is tied for fourth after opening with a 1-under 71 and Janet Mao, a sophomore from Johns Creek, Ga., is tied for eighth with a 1-over 73.
Also for the Wildcats, junior Hannah Kim, arguably their best player from Chula Vista, Calif., is tied for 14th after a 2-over 74, Kacie Komoto, their senior leader from Honolulu, Hawaii, and Monica Matsubara, a sophomore from Singapore, are in a group tied for 44th at 78.
Michigan’s Van Dievort was the only player to break 70 in tough conditions on a tough golf course with a 3-under 69 that gave her the individual lead.
Joining Northwestern’s Cho in the tie for second at 2-under 70 is Minnesota’s Emie Peronnin, a senior from France. Joining Northwestern’s Lau in the tie for fourth at 1-under 71 is Wisconsin’s Brooke Farrell, a senior from Edgerton, Wis.
Farrell’s fellow Badger, Becky Klongland, a junior from Stoughton, Wis., matched par with a 72 and is tied for sixth with Ohio State’s Jaclyn Lee, a sophomore from Canada.
Perennial Big Ten power Purdue, looking for its first conference championship since 2013, was led by Marta Martin, a junior from Spain who is tied for eighth after carding a 1-over 73. Defending Big Ten individual champion August Kim, a senior from St. Augustine, Fla., and Micaela Farah, a freshman from Peru, are in a group tied for 20th at 3-over 75.
Also for the Boilermakers, Ida Ayu Indira Milati Putri, a sophomore from Bali, is tied for 32nd at 4-over 76, Covadonga SanJuan, a sophomore from Spain, is tied for 44th at 78 and Linn Andersson, a junior from Sweden, is tied for 58th at 80.
It was a solid start for a couple of Penn State’s sophomores, Jackie Rogowicz, a two-time PIAA Class AAA runnerup at Pennsbury, and Cara Basso, the 2012 PIAA Class AA champion at Villa Maria Academy. Rogowicz, leaving an inconsistent spring behind, is tied for 14th after opening with a 2-over 74 and Basso is tied for 20th another shot behind Rogowicz at 3-over 75.
Sophomore Lauren Waller, the 2014 PIAA Class AAA runnerup at Canon McMillan, is tied for 44th at 78. Freshman Madelein Herr, the District One Class AAA champion as a senior in the fall of 2015 at Council Rock North, and another freshman, Ashni Dhruva of Katy, Texas, are in the group tied for 52nd at 79. Graduate student Kate Granahan, a former Parkland standout, is tied for 73rd after posting an 83.