WISCONSIN DELLS, Wis. – Concordia University Wisconsin charged out to an 11-stroke lead after the first round of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Championship, while Nina Puch sits atop the leaderboard at Trappers Turn Golf Club.
The Falcons have a target on their backs because of their dominating NACC Championship victories the past two years, and they handled the pressure well on Saturday. They have all five golfers inside the top 20 on the leaderboard, with everyone shooting a 98 or better, on a day when the temperature reached a high of 47 degrees.
Puch (junior, Des Plaines, Ill.) fired an opening round 10-over-par 82 to lead by four strokes over Sami Jo Williams (Lakeland College). In all, just four golfers shot rounds in the 80s. CUW carded a team score of 359, which was the lowest round of the season, while Marian University is in second place after shooting a 370 team total.
Sophomore Bridget Slater (Roseau, Minn.) ended with a 91 and is fifth place overall, while junior Lexi Westphal (Brownsville, Wis.) and freshman Haley Olkiewicz (Oshkosh, Wis.) shot 93s to tie for 11th place. Sophomore Megan Reddersdorf (Marengo, Ill.) carded a 98 to tie for 19th.
Puch leads all players with nine pars and has a tournament-best 4.60 scoring average on par 4s (6-over). Westphal is tied with a 3.25 scoring average on par 3s, while Olkiewicz is tied for second with a 5.50 scoring average on par 5s.
CUW and the rest of the field continue play on Sunday with the second round of the 54-hole tournament.