May 07, 2024

Strand shoots strong opening round at NCAA Regional

Posted May 07, 2024 12:19 PM

Story by NU Athletic Communications

Nebraska's Kelli Ann Strand opened with a two-under-par 70 to put herself in the top five in the individual standings after the first 18 holes at the NCAA Cle Elum Women's Golf Regional in Washington on Monday.

Strand, a sophomore from Challis, Idaho, recorded four birdies and an eagle along with nine pars while overcoming four bogeys to produce her 70 on the 6,306-yard layout of the Tumble Creek Club at the Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum. She began the day with pars on No. 1 and No. 2 before notching a birdie on the 320-yard, par-4 third hole. She bogeyed No. 4, but after a par on No. 5 she went back under par with her second birdie on the front nine on the 370-yard, par-4 sixth hole.

A bogey on No. 7 put her back at even, before a birdie on No. 8 and a par on No. 9 allowed her to take the turn to the back at 35 (-1). Bogeys on No. 10 and 13 around pars on No. 11 and 12 put her above par for the first time on Monday, but she quickly rallied for a birdie on the par-5, 528-yard 14th hole to get back to even.

Strand followed with pars on No. 15, 16 and 17, before unleashing an eagle on the par-5, 485-yard 18th hole to close out her round in a five-way tie for fifth among the 66 golfers in the regional field.

Duke's Anne Chen carded Monday's top individual round at the NCAA Cle Elum Regional with a 67 (-5) that featured six birdies and 11 pars against just one bogey. Stanford's Paula Martin Sampedro and Lily Hirst from Kansas sit just one shot back of Chen at 68 (-4), while Virginia's Celeste Valinho put up a 69 (-3) to sit alone in fourth. 

Strand joins Beth Coulter (Arizona State), Andee Avery (Long Beach State), Kelly Xu (Stanford) and Phoebe Brinker (Duke) in a tie for fifth, two strokes ahead of six golfers tied for 10th at even-par 72.

Strand's 70 (-2) was the best round among the six individuals on non-qualifying regional teams in Cle Elum. Colorado's Sabrina Iqbal is tied for 44th at 77 (+5), while her CU teammate Morgan Miller and San Francisco's Riana Mission are tied for 51st at 78 (+6). New Mexico State's Emma Bunch, who was the top seed among the individuals in the Cle Elum Regional, is tied for 57th at 79 (+7), while Washington State's Madelyn Gamble rounded out the individuals with an 80 (+8) in a tie for 60th.

Duke put together Monday's best team round with a 282 (-6), while Stanford sits two strokes back at 284 (-4). Arizona State fired an even-par 288, while Virginia rounds out the top four at 289 (+1).

Action continues with the second round at the NCAA Cle Elum Regional on Tuesday, with Strand set to take the course at 12:50 p.m. (CT). Live scoring will be available on from GolfStat.