It was a record-setting opening round of the 2019 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Women's Golf Championship. Three golfers broke the championships' previous low round score while Grinnell College set a new team-low round. The round even featured the first-ever hole-in-one during championship play.
With the sun shining and clear skies above the field of 54 players welcomed the perfect autumn day for hitting the course at The Links in Jacksonville, Ill. Knox College's Samantha Nichols etched her name into the SLIAC record books on the 14th hole when she put her tee shot in from 159 yards out for the first-ever hole-in-one during SLIAC Championship play. She would not be the only Knox player to have a highlight on the day as teammate Shelby Keen carded a 77, which would have set a new SLIAC low round record had it not been for two other impressive performances on the day.
Spalding's Kassidy Wallin, the 2017 SLIAC Champion, shot a 74; shooting a 35 on the front nine. She finished in second place, one stroke behind the clubhouse leader and will be looking to become the first player to repeat as SLIAC Champion.
The round one leader is Grinnell's Nina Kouchi with a 73. Kouchi shot a 37 on the front nine and a 36 on the back nine; setting a new SLIAC record for low round during the championship. With Kouchi leading the way Grinnell also set a new team mark with a 321 in the opening round, breaking the previous mark of 332.
Illinois College is in 2nd with a 332 and is followed by Lake Forest (337), Monmouth (341), and Knox (360) to round out the top-five team scores. Individually Kouchi atop the leaderboard and followed by Wallin, Keen, Danielle Oberlander (78), and Teresa Diez Dorta (80) and Amanda Lee (80).
The second and final round of the 2019 SLIAC Women's Golf Championship will tee off with a shotgun start tomorrow, Tuesday, at 9 a.m.
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