HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Fla. -- Rhodes used a four-over 76 from Nikki Isaacson to take the lead after Tuesday's first round of the NCAA Division III Women's Golf Championship at Mission Inn Resort and Club. Isaacson ends the first round tied for second while her team leads by 10 strokes over nearest competitor Methodist.
The Rhodes Lynx sit at 23-over 311 heading into Round 2, and saw all five competitors placed in the top 20 at the end of the first round. In addition to Isaacson, Jessica Zweifel is tied for fourth after carding a five-over 77, Sarahanne Vaughn sits in a tie for 11th after an opening-round six-over 78, and Meg Healy and Jessica Ritter find themselves tied for 17th with scores of eight-over 80.The Methodist Monarchs and Rhodes Lynx were neck-and-neck for most of the afternoon on the difficult El Campeon course, but Methodist faltered toward the end of their round. Loretta Giovannetone leads the Monarchs after Round 1 with an 11th-place tie after carding a six-over 78, but Kelsie Carralero was tied for the lead entering the 17th hole, where she carded a five-over 10. She dropped to eight-over 80 for the round and finished tied for 17th. Elizabeth Blomgren and Taylor Dominguez rounded out the scorecard for the Monarchs, finishing tied for 23rd and tied for 28th, respectively.
Individually, Ithaca's Lisa Calcasola has the surprise lead after 18 holes. She fired a three-over 75 on the day and leads by a single stroke over Isaacson and George Fox's Sydney Maluenda. Seven golfers sit in a tie for fourth at five over par, including Rhodes' Zweifel and the top-ranked player heading into this tournament, Mary Hardin-Baylor's McKenzie Ralston.
Defending champion Mary Hardin-Baylor finds themselves in third place after Round 1 with a first-round 325, 14 strokes back of the leader. Ithaca rode Calcasola's excellent first-round to fourth place after Round 1, 15 strokes back, while Texas-Tyler sits in fifth, 16 strokes back after Round 1.