SIMI VALLEY, Calif. - Cal State Northridge has three players in the top eight and the Matadors carry a 22-shot lead over BYU into the final round of CSUN's Matador Invitational following 36 holes on Monday.
This years inaugural Matador Invitational, held at Wood Ranch Golf Club, features an eight-team field with a total of 53 players competing.
CSUN carded a blistering opening round of 284 which is one shot better than the school record the team carded in the fall at UC Riverside's Birdies for Breast Cancer tournament. The school record prior to the 2013-14 season was 292 in 2010.
"The ladies played with a lot of poise and patience today," said head coach Gina Umeck. "This course is easily the most difficult we play all year, so to post a program best round here says that we're making great strides as a team."
Three players are tied at the top of the leaderboard as CSUN teammates Arinda Bhanaraksa and Clariss Guce share the top spot with USC individual Victoria Morgan.
Bhanaraksa, playing in her first tournament as a Matador, got her team off to a spectacular start carding a three under-par 69. The scores were a bit higher in the afternoon round as Bhanaraksa finished with a round of three-over 75 to finish the day at even par 144.
Guce was two strokes back after an opening round one-under 71 but made up the difference with a second round 75. USC's Morgan posted back-to-back rounds of 72 as the trio takes a two-stroke lead into Tuesday's final round.
Elisabeth Haavardsholm made it three CSUN golfers in the top-eight as she fired an opening round even-par 72 before struggling in the afternoon with an 80. Haavardsholm is at eight-over 180 heading into the final 18 holes.
Ellen Brantberg, competing as an individual, was 20th after an opening round 78 but improved that by two shots with a second round 76 to finish the day tied for 12th at 10-over 154. Cesilie Hagen was 20th after an opening round 78 and remained 20th after a second round 78. She is currently at 12-over 156.
Sharon Shin was third after the opening round, posting a career-best score of even-par 72. Shin had a total of four birdies in her even-par round in the morning but could not sustain the pace finishing with an 85 in the afternoon. Shin is tied for 23rd at 13-over 157.
The Matadors carry a 22-shot lead over second place BYU (612) with Cal Poly (617) third, Hawai'i (619) fourth, Sacramento State (622) fifth, UC Riverside (625) sixth, Northern Colorado (643) seventh and CSU Bakersfield (664) eighth.
Tuesday's final round gets underway with tee times beginning at 7 a.m.
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