At the conclusion of the first round, Xiaowen Yin and Celine Borge remain on top of the Wildhorse Ladies Golf Classic leaderboard at 9-under. Grace Kim also remains in solo third place at 8-under.
Five players ended Friday’s first round tied for fouth, just two strokes behind Yin and Borge. Robyn Choi, Daniela Iacobelli, Hira Naveed, Maria Fernanda Escauriza and Britney Yada are all chasing the lead at 7-under.
Choi went bogey free on the day, carding four consecutive birdies from No. 8 to No. 11. She said her second-place finish at the Circling Raven Championship last week gave her confidence heading to Pendleton, Oregon. Along with some momentum from last week, playing with Grace Kim gave Choi some push to go low.
“If I know the scores are going to be low, I know I have to do something,” said Choi. “Especially if I’m playing with someone that’s shooting low as well. I try to catch that momentum with them.”
Like Choi, Naveed and Iacobelli also signed for a bogey free round. In addition to Iacobelli’s five birdies, she also made eagle on No. 3. To prepare for tomorrow Iacobelli said she’ll take advantage of her rest time and keep hydrated.
“It’s definitely reassuring to feel like you don’t have to grind for a cut,” said Iacobelli. “It won’t be as hot tomorrow which will be nice, and I also have almost a full 24 hours to rest.”
Escauriza carded nine birdies on the day, while Yada signed for eight. Yada said patience was key for her top performance and, like the others in the top-5, hopes to do it again tomorrow.
“I’ll try to just do what I did today,” said Yada. “I was pretty patient and hit a ton of greens. Whatever happens, happens.”
A total of 98 players finished the first round at even-par or better, including Oregon natives Gigi Stoll (-6) and Kennedy Swann (E).