NCAA Golf News

Michelle Cox, Women’s Golf Sit Atop Leaderboard After NGI Opening Round

Michelle Cox, Women's Golf Sit Atop Leaderboard After NGI Opening Round

MARICOPA, Ariz.  – Sophomore Michelle Cox (Allentown, Pa.) paced Penn State to an opening round lead at the inaugural National Golf Invitational on Friday afternoon with a collegiate-best 5-under, 67, the third lowest individual 18-hole score in program history.

Cox was the first player to tee off bright and early at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa, Arizona on Friday morning and she currently leads the 49-player field, one shot clear of Mercer’s Mikayla Dubnik and Western Carolina’s Elizabeth Lohbauer following her 5-under opening round.

Her round was highlighted by a 4-under, 32, on the front side which included an eagle on the par-5 seventh hole. Cox had four birdies on the day to go along with the lone eagle and was bogey-free before dropping a shot on the par-4 closing hole.

“I was putting the ball in good positions, and I putted the best I have all year out there today,” mentioned Cox. “I was in the zone for sure and I had a lot of fun out there.”

As a team the Nittany Lions carded an even-par, 288, on Friday and lead the 10-team field, one stroke clear of Big Ten foe Iowa in second at 1-over. Middle Tennessee and Mercer sit third and fourth at 3-over and 5-over, respectively, while Texas State and Western Carolina round out the top-5 at 6-over and tied for fifth in the inaugural NGI presented in partnership with Golfweek.

Senior Isha Dhruva (Katy, Texas) fired an even-par, 72, to crack the top-10 as she currently sits tied for ninth entering Saturday’s second round. Sophomore Drew Nienhaus (St. Louis, Mo.) and senior Sarah Willis (Eaton, Ohio) rounded out the four countable team scores with rounds of 74 (2-over) and 75 (3-over), respectively. Nienhaus is currently tied for 19th while Willis is tied for 22nd.

Senior Taylor Waller (Canonsburg, Pa.) rounded out the day with a 5-over, 77, and is tied for 36th.

“Everyone kept it steady all day and it was a good team effort,” commented head coach Denise St. Pierre. “I’m very proud of this team for such a great start to this tournament.”

The Nittany Lions are right back at it tomorrow morning for the second round with tee times beginning at 9:20 a.m.

Full opening round results can be viewed HERE.



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