CLE ELUM, Wash. - Cal State Northridge senior Clariss Guce got off to a great start Thursday in the opening round of the NCAA Women's Golf Championship West Regional at Tumble Creek Club at Suncadia Resort.
The Matador senior from Artesia, Calif. (Cerritos HS), making her NCAA Championship debut, sits alone in fourth place after posting an opening round four under-par 68. Only USC's Kyung Kim (66), Arizona State's Noemi Jimenez (67) and Texas A&M's Marijosse Navarro (67) are above Guce heading into Friday's second round.
The tournament is a three-day, 54-hole stroke play championship which will conclude Saturday afternoon. The top-two individuals at the Regional that are not on qualifying teams will earn a spot at the NCAA Finals.
Guce played a virtually error-free round on Thursday with the exception of single bogey on the par-five 15th hole. She led the 126-player field through the front nine after posting four birdies and five pars to make the turn at four-under. A single birdie cancelled out her one bogey while she scored par on the remaining seven holes to head to the clubhouse at four-under.
Kim, who finished after Guce, would eventually move to the top of the round one leaderboard while Jimenez and Navarro slipped past the CSUN senior by one shot. Guce's opening round 68 is one shot off her career-low round of 67.
"Obviously everyone in this field wants to play well, I don't believe everyone has the same desire however and Clariss has a ton of it," said CSUN head coach Gina Umeck. "That's what I saw today, she really played great. The Tom Doak designed course fits her game very well, it was a great day in the books."
The second round gets underway Friday morning.
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