Senior Natalia Jimenez shot a 6-under-par 66, a new all-time record for the BYU women's golf program. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
MOORPARK -- A long-standing BYU women’s golf record was broken Tuesday by Natalia Jimenez as she shot a first-round score of 66 to lead the Cougars to a second-place finish at the Pepperdine Invitational.
The previous 18-hole record of 67 was initially shot by Pam Miller in 1978 and later tied by Rachel Newren and Ashley Childers at the Ron Moore Intercollegiate in 2006.
“It was very exciting to see Natalia play so well today,” said BYU head coach Sue Nyhus. “It was an exciting day for the BYU golf program. That was a long-standing record that was broken.”
Jimenez shot the 6-under-par score by making six birdies on the day and scoring the rest of the holes at even-par at the par-72 Moorpark Country Club, ahead of Pepperdine golfers Taylor Karle and Kaitlin Drolson. The mark helped BYU to a second-place tie with UNLV at 6-over-par, 11 strokes behind leading Pepperdine.
“We’re playing well with some pretty good teams at this tournament,” Nyhus said. “Pepperdine, UNLV and Long Beach State are ranked, so it’s good to be playing at their level.”
Freshman Maggie Yuan also played a solid opening round by shooting an even-par 72 and is currently tied for sixth place in the field of 44 golfers. She made four birdies in the round accompanied with four bogeys and scored the remaining holes at par.
Junior Camille Gardner is tied for 15th place after shooting a 4-over-par 76. She made one birdie with three bogeys and one double bogey.
Sophomores Jade Bollinger and Sara Romero are currently tied at Nos. 27 and 29, respectively, after enjoying a solid first round in which both scored one birdie. Redshirt freshman Staisha Stratton is golfing individually for the Cougars.
“This is a fun course with beautiful scenery and long, hard walks up and down the hilly terrain,” Nyhus said. “We hope to perform equally well on Wednesday.”
Round two of the tournament will continue at 8:30 a.m. MT and can be followed on golfstat.com.
2009 Pepperdine Spring Invitational
BYU 2nd/6 +6 294
1 Jimenez -6 66
T6 Yuan E 72
T15 Gardner +4 76
T27 Bollinger +8 80
T29 Romero +9 81
T43 Stratton* +15 87
* - playing individually
1 (16) Pepperdine -5
T2 BYU +6
T2 (44) UNLV +6
4 (47) Long Beach State +18
5 New Mexico State +19
6 CS-Northridge +39