Deng, Huskies In The Lead After Outstanding Day At Juli Inkster Invitational
FAIRFAX, Calif. – Stefanie Deng led the way for the Washington women's golf team on Monday, pushing herself and the team atop the leaderboard after a busy first day of the Juli Inkster at Meadow Club Invitational.
Deng, a freshman from Shanghai, China, sat tied for 16th after shooting a 2-over 74 in the morning, but followed up with a blistering 4-under 68 in the afternoon's second round. She passed three UW teammates in the second round to lead the 66-person field by day's end. Deng will enter Tuesday's final round with a three-stoke lead over the field at 2-under 142 (74-68).
"Stephanie's going to be a great player for us," Coach Mary Lou Mulflur said of her first-year star-in-the-making, who was the only participant to go under-par in the second round.
"That girl can shoot a lot of 68's. That won't be her career round, I'll guarantee you that."
Washington put together its best day in four tournaments on Monday. They were the only team to shoot under-par in either of the first two rounds, opening with a 1-under 287 for a four-shot advantage.
The wind picked up and rain fell in the second round, but once again the Huskies were the team that showed the most grit, firing a 4-over 297 for finish a long first day of action at +3 overall (287-292-579). Washington is 14-shots ahead of Brigham Young, who shot 17-over 593. Stanford is third (19-over 595), followed by San Jose State (13-over 597) and Sacramento State (23-over 599).
"It will be interesting to see how they handle it tomorrow," Mulflur said of her young team, which has not led a tournament heading to the final round. "We'll see how the nerves hold up."
The Huskies began both rounds on the back nine and Deng made the turn in the afternoon at 2-under. She made back-to-back birdies on No. 3 and 4 to get to 4-under, where she remained until bogeying her 17th hole, the par-3 eighth hole.
Deng made birdie on her final hole, the 464-yard, par-5 ninth hole, to finish 4-under for the round. The Huskies attacked No. 9 all day long, combining to shoot 7-under on the hole during the two rounds.
Joining Deng as the only golfers to shoot 68 was teammate, Rino Sasaki. The senior from Tokyo, Japan native led following the first round after firing a 4-under that included five birdies and just one bogey. She was one of four golfers who were under par at the Par 72, 6,157-yard Meadow Club during the morning round.
She got off to a rough start in the second round, carding a triple-bogey on her first hole. She was just two over the rest of the way to finish with a 77 and enters the final round sitting tied with five other golfers for second at +1 (68-77-145).
Martha Lewis shot back-to-back rounds of 1-over 73 and sits in eighth (+2, 146). Camille Boyd carded 75-74 and is tied for 13th at +5 (149).
Brittany Kwon was second among Huskies after a first-round 72, but came back with a 78 in the afternoon. She sits tied for 18th at +6 (150).
"We're just trying to get better, that really has been our focus," Mulflur said. "We have got to start believing in ourselves and get better every day."
The third and final round will be held Tuesday morning.