Ocariza Finishes Day One Tied for Seventh, Boise State Sits in Fifth Place at WAC Championship ?

RENO, Nevada (4/20/09) Iris Ocariza fired a 2-over-par 74 to lead Boise State during day one of three at the 2009 Western Athletic Conference Women’s Golf Championship being held at Wolf Run Golf Club in Reno, Nev.  The Broncos finished the first round of the tournament strong moving past the host University of Nevada on the 18th hole to finish the opening session in fifth place with a 19-over-par 307.

Heading into the final three holes the team leaderboard had the Broncos trailing Nevada by two strokes and leading Hawaii by two. Both Nevada and Hawaii were competing in the final group of pairings finishing after the Broncos who were in the second of three pairing sets. Boise State rallied down the stretch as the team recorded a combined 10 pars and four birdies which eventually gave them a one-stroke lead over the Wolf Pack and extend their lead over the Rainbow Wahine. The 18th hole proved big for Boise State who had four of the five Broncos record birdies on the par-5.

Overall, the nation’s 21st ranked San Jose State Spartans opened up a decent gap from the rest of the pack during the first round with a 3-under-par 285, 13 strokes better than second place Idaho at 10-over-par 298. Boise State currently sits in fifth, nine strokes behind second-place Idaho and 22 strokes out of first. Fresno State is in third with a 15-over-par 303 followed by New Mexico State at 305 (+17), Boise State and Nevada at 308 (+20).

Leading the way individually for the Broncos after day one is junior Iris Ocariza who turned in a solid round of 2-over-par 74 which puts her in a four-way tie for seventh place. During round one the Honolulu, Hawaii, native was a model of consistency tallying two birdies and 13 pars to record her best-ever single round at the WAC Championship in three tries. Ocaraiza will start the second round seven strokes out of first-place.

Backing Ocariza up during the first round was senior Lindsey Shean who carded a 3-over-par 75 giving her sole possession of 11th place. The senior from Salinas, Calif., started slow going 2-over-par after three rounds, but turned it around finishing the day with two birdies and 11 pars. The 75 is the second lowest single round result for Shean in three trips to the conference championship, she had a 70 (-2) in the final round last year.

Noelle Zavaleta started strong but struggled a bit down the stretch. After nine, the freshman from Lakewood, Calif., had shot an even-par 36. Unfortunately, the back nine proved a challenge as she carded a 5-over-par 41 giving her a day one total of 5-over-par 77 placing her in a five-way tie for 15th. Zavaleta recorded two birdies and 10 pars through the first 18 holes.

Senior Mandi Hedberg was fourth among the Bronco squad after the first session tallying a 9-over-par 81. The Twin Falls, Idaho, native finished the front nine 4-over-par and the back nine 5-over.  She recorded one of her two birdies on the day at the 18th hole which helped Boise State leap over the University of Nevada into fifth place.

Rounding out the Boise State roster on day one was Minhee Park who carded a 12-over-par 84. The junior from Tieton, Wash., stumbled out of the gate recording a hard 9-over-par on the front nine before rallying on the back half holding her own with a 3-over-par 39.

Boise State will look to make a move up the standings during the second round of the 2009 WAC Championship will be held tomorrow morning. The first tee time for the second session of the tournament is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. (Mountain) at the Wolf Run Golf Club in Reno.


Day/Round One Summary

Western Athletic Conference Championship

April 20-22, 2009
Hosted by the University of Nevada
Reno, Nevada
Wolf Run Golf Club (Par 72; 6,133-Yards)

Boise State Results T7. Iris Ocariza (74, +2); 11. Lindsey Shean (75, +3); T15. Noelle Zavaleta (77, +5);  T29. Mandi Hedberg (81, +9);  33. Minhee Park (84, +12).

Team Results 1. San Jose State (285, -3); 2. Idaho (298, +10); 3. Fresno State (303, +15);  4. New Mexico State (305, +17); 5. Boise State (307, +19);  6. Nevada (308, +20);  7. Hawaii (319, +31).

Top-Five Individuals  1. Katrina Briones, San Jose State (67, -5);  2. Louisa Lies, Fresno State (70, -2);  T3. Erica Moston, San Jose State (71, -1);  T3. Teo Poplawski, Idaho (71, -1);  5. Melanie DeLeon, Nevada (72, E). 

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