PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Sophomore Maddie Nelson and senior Jessica Kittelberger each carded a six-over 77 in the opening round of the Otter Invitational, hosted by Cal State Monterey Bay, helping Dartmouth finish the day in a tie for eighth with two other teams at 28-over par (312). The Big Green trail seventh-place Yale by two strokes, while Dallas Baptist owns an eight-stroke lead on the field at seven-over par (291).
Starting on the 10th hole at the 5,804-yard, par-71 Poppy Hils Golf Club, Dartmouth got off to a good start, playing the back nine at 10-over par as a team. Kittelberger had the most consistent nine holes to start with a birdie on 17 and a pair of bogeys to be at one-over par, while freshman Moon Cheong was just a stroke behind after recovering from a triple-bogey on the opening hole thanks to a pair of birdies.
The Big Green crew found a bit more trouble on the front nine, although Nelson settled in to a groove, making par on the final six holes after back-to-back bogeys left her at six-over. Also playing the second nine at two-over, as Nelson did, was Los Angeles native Kristen Soh, thanks to a birdie on her final hole. Soh finished up her round with a seven-over 78, and Cheong carded a nine-over 80.
Dartmouth also had two golfers playing as individuals, one of which was freshman Julianne Strauch who had the best Big Green round of the day with a five-over 76 with three birdies and eight pars.
Dallas Baptist’s Hanna Harrison was the lone golfer to break par today with a nearly flawless three-under 68 featuring four birdies, 13 pars and a single bogey. She will take a three-stroke lead over Keila Takeuchi from the host school into the second and final round tomorrow, which will begin at 7:30 a.m. (PDT).