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Mary Hardin-Baylor Athletics | May 9, 2017

Defending DII champ Rhodes holds lead after round one

  Rhodes has an early two-stroke lead over George Fox and Williams.

Houston, Texas — The sun broke through the morning overcast and the cooling winds died down as the afternoon groups took the course for the first round of the NCAA Division III Women's Golf National Championships Tuesday in Houston. But the rising temperatures and humid conditions did not seem to bother defending national champion Rhodes College as the Lynx jumped out to a narrow opening day lead in search of the program's third national title in the last four years.

RELATED: Leaderboard | Day 1 recap and results

Rhodes carded a 301 team total to build a two-stroke lead over the 303 scores posted by the second-place duo of George Fox University and Williams College. Carleton College holds down fourth place with a 311 and UT Tyler and Amherst College share fifth place with 313 scores. The seven lowest team scores were all posted in the afternoon. Wisconsin-Stout's 319 was the low round of the morning wave of tee times and is good for eighth place in the team standings.

Phoebe Mattana of Williams College fired a record-tying low individual round at three under 69 to hold the individual lead. Mattana started on hole No. 10 and played the back nine in one over. She posted four birdies over the final seven holes to match the low round record in relation to par and shot the lowest round of her career.

Ayumi Sakamoto of Carleton College and Rhodes' Nikki Isaacson are tied for second place individually after posting one-under 71s on Tuesday. Carleton's Ziyi Wang and Berry College's Sydney Weaver are tied for fourth place after both players shot even par 72's. Once again, the afternoon wave dominated the lowest scores. Wisconsin-Stout's Rachel Hernandez fired a 76 for the lowest score in the morning wave to tie for tenth place. Defending individual champion Caroline Ordian of University of Redlands is tied for 37th place after recording an 80 in the opening round

There are 22 teams and six individuals competing in the event. The four-day, 72-hole event is being played on a par-72, 5,869-yard layout at Bay Oaks Country Club in Houston, Texas. Teams will begin teeing off for Wednesday's second round at 7:45 AM Central Time.

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