Harvard entered the clubhouse with an eight-stroke lead over Princeton with a 297 (+9) on the par-72, 6,278-yard Upper Course. Yale finished up in third place at 312 (+24), Columbia fourth at 316 (+28) and Penn fifth at 320 (+32), six strokes ahead of the Big Green.
Two golfers beat par on the first 18 holes: Harvard’s Anne Chang with a 70 (-2) and Yale’s Elisabeth Bernabe one stroke back. No one else in the field managed to score better than three-over par.
Knapp and Simmons both carded a four-over 76 on the day to tie for seventh place with two others, though they arrived there in different fashion. Knapp was six-over par after 15 holes with nine pars and six bogeys before finishing strong with birdies on 16 — the only birdie recorded on that hole on the day — and 17, followed by par on 18 to finish her round. Simmons had a little more variance on her round, suffering a double-bogey on the second hole before picking up birdies on the fifth, 14th and 17th holes.
The rest of the Dartmouth squad struggled a bit on the first day of competition with junior Jane Lee (North Shore City, New Zealand) in a tie for 25th at 84 (+12) with seven pars, 10 bogeys and a double bogey in her round. Senior Kathryn Kennedy (Medina, Minn.) played the front nine at 12-over par before settling in a bit on the back nine, including a birdie on 18, to finish the day at 90 (+18). Rounding out the Big Green five was junior Savannah Grice (Atlanta, Ga.) with a 20-over 92.
The second round will begin on Saturday morning at 11:30 a.m. with tee times still to be announced.