NCAA women's golf: USC takes early command of Cle Elum Regional

Courtesy: USC athletics

NCAA women's golf: USC takes early command of Cle Elum Regional

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NCAA women's golf: USC takes early command of Cle Elum Regional

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USC, the top-ranked team in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings in NCAA women’s golf, leads by three shots after Day 1 at the Cle Elum Regional at Tumble Creek Club in Elum, Wash.

The Trojans posted three scores below par, led by Gabriella Ruffels’ 3-under 69. Jennifer Chang and Alyaa Abdulghany posted two-under 70s and USC leads Northwestern by three strokes, host Washington by four and Arkansas by six.

Those four were the only teams below par on the first day. Rounding out the top six are UCF and San Jose State, who are T-5 at +1.

The top six teams will advance to the NCAA finals later this month at the Blessings Golf Course in Fayetteville, Ark.

REGION SCORES: Auburn | Cle Elum | Norman | East Lansing

Individually, Ana Laura Collado of UCF rebounded from a bogey on 17 to birdie the closing 18th hole to post a six-under 66. She holds a one-shot lead over Kathleen Scavo of Oregon.

Rino Sasaki and Stephanie Lau of Northwestern each shot four-under 68s and are T-3.

LIVE BLOG: Follow the regionals

USC, one of the four No. 1 seeds in this postseason, has won seven times this year.

The Trojans’ wins include an 11-stroke lap-the-field rout in the Pac-12 Championships.

Chip shots

Augusta National Women’s Amateur runnerup Maria Fassi, who earned her first collegiate win of the season at the SEC Championships two weeks ago, shot a first-round 69 and is T-5 with USC’s Ruffels. … Oregon State and Old Dominion are T-7 but are both sitting at 5-over, four shots back of a spot in the coveted top six. … Day 2 of the three-day event is on Tuesday.

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