Huskies off to hot start in Pac-12 Preview

The Washington women’s golf team has finally found its stroke.

During the 36-hole opening day of the Pac-12 Preview at Nanea Golf Club, the Huskies proved they belong at the top of the pack. After two rounds at the Pac-12 Preview, the UW is atop the leaderboard with a 16-under 568, ahead of No. 1 UCLA and No. 2 USC.

The Huskies finally ended a round with the taste of victory, beating out an incredibly competitive crowd in round one for a first place tie with Oregon. In round two, the victory became even sweeter as the UW took sole possession of the lead.

“They pretty much did everything well,” head coach Mary Lou Mulflur said. “They didn’t make very many mistakes, they gave themselves good looks, and I thought they managed their games really well.”

Sophomore Charlotte Thomas led the attack for the Huskies with a 4-under 69 tied for the second best through round one. But she was just getting warmed up. She followed her impressive first round by getting a hole-in-one on the 17th hole in the second round and finished the day tied for 10th.

Senior Kelli Bowers followed suit with a 3-under 70, and junior Jennifer Yang finished close behind with a 2-under 71. Fellow juniors SooBin Kim and Cyd Okino brought up the rear in round one, but not by much, both still finishing under par with matching scores of 1-under 72. With all five Huskies finishing within four strokes of each other and all finishing under par, round one was the most complete team outing the team has had against Pac-12 competition this season, and it gave the Huskies a 10-stroke lead heading into the second round.

“I don’t even think they knew,” Mulflur said of the lead. “But when they got back and all the scores were posted, that was definitely a good feeling. You could tell they all felt good about that.”

Feeling strong after their brilliant first round performance, the UW’s momentum spilled over into round two. Kim shot a 6-under 67 to carry the Huskies through the second round and broke the first-round tie with Oregon. Kim is second on the leaderboard with a 7-under 139 after two rounds.

Yang turned in another solid performance to finish the day with two matching rounds of 2-under 71. Thomas, Bowers, and Okino’s play slipped slightly in the second round, bringing in scores of 74, 74, and 78, respectively, but it was not enough to bring the Huskies down.

However, the Huskies still have a long way to go.

“I’d much rather win the last tournament of the year than the last tournament of the fall,” Mulflur said with a laugh. “But they deserve to have one come their way. Hopefully we’re talking tomorrow after a victory.”

Play resumes Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. PST.

Reach contributing writer David Gillam at sports@dailyuw.com. Twitter: @davidbgillam

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