BERKELEY – California freshman Lucia Gutierrez opened her spring season with a share of the lead after the first day of competition at the Peg Barnard Invitational held at the Stanford Golf Course.
Gutierrez shot a two-under 69 at the par-71 course to sit in a two-way tie for first with UNLV’s Dana Finkelstein after the first 18 of 36 holes at the tournament. After beginning her tournament with a bogey on the par-4 second hole, the freshman settled down to hit three consecutive birdies on the 5th, 6th and 7th to sit two-under at the turn. A bogey on the 10th was offset by a birdie on the 18th as Gutierrez showed remarkable poise in her fourth career collegiate tournament.
Her 69 is a collegiate-best at California and matches Nicola Rössler as the lowest round this year for a Golden Bear.
As a team, California is eighth after shooting 300 (+16) in the opening day. Next to Gutierrez was sophomore Hannah Suh who sits 34th individually at 76 (+5). Four of Cal’s five golfers are within two strokes of each other with Thompson (77, +6) sitting 42nd while Rössler and Childs both carded 78’s (+7) on the day.
Suh suffered a difficult front nine with two holes taking away from what was an otherwise top performance. Suh triple-bogeyed the par-4 5th and double-bogeyed the par-4 9th for her plus-five on the scorecard. Outside of those two anomalies, the sophomore was even through the remaining 16 holes. She followed up bogeys on the 6th and 17th with immediate birdies on the 7th and 18th.
Thompson also fell victim to a triple-bogey after using eight strokes on the par-5 16th hole. Childs and Rössler sit tied for 49th after each scored a 78 Saturday.
The Bears will tee off Sunday at 9 a.m. with the tournament again employing a shotgun start. Cal will tee off from the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th holes.