Women's West Regional: Kim, USC out in front
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Team leader: USC (4-under 284)
Individual leader: Kyung Kim, USC (6-under 66)
In position (the next seven): 2. Washington (288), 3. Arizona State (289), 4. Texas A&M (290), T-5. Michigan State (291), T-5. Oklahoma (291), T-7. Iowa State (300), T-7. UC Davis (300).
Chasing (still work to do): 9. Wisconsin (301), T-10. Northwestern (302), T-10. Clemson (302), T-10. Denver (302).
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USC sophomore Kyung Kim closed with five birdies in her final nines holes Thursday en route to an opening-round, 6-under 66. Kim leads the individual race at Tumble Creek Club in Cle Elum, Wash., by a shot over Arizona State's Noemi Jimenez and Texas A&M's Marijosse Navarro.
In all, Kim recorded seven birdies to just one bogey. She is vying for her third victory and sixth top-10 finish of the season.
Kim's ninth round in the 60s of the season also helped the top-ranked and defending national champion Trojans to a four-shot lead in the team standings. USC, searching for a ninth victory this season and 10th regional win in school history, totaled a 4-under 284.
Annie Park (T-8) and Doris Chen (T-12) are also even par or better for USC.
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Huskies in the hunt
Soo Bin Kim and Jennifer Yang each fired 2-under 70s to help seventh-ranked Washington to second place after the first round.
The Huskies were 4 under late in the day before finishing at even-par 288.
“It’s always good to get off to a strong start,” Washington head coach Mary Lou Mulflur said. “We struggled a little bit down the stretch, but we are still in good position.”
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Cal State-Northridge's Clariss Guce, one of the individuals competing, is solo fourth at 4 under. Guce is the only individual competitor better than T-24. . . . Arizona State, which at No. 6 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings is the third top 10-ranked team in the field, is third at 1-over 289. . . . Texas A&M, led by Marijosse Navarro (T-2), is solo fourth at 2-over 290. The Aggies are seeking their fifth NCAA Championship appearance in the last seven years.