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HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (Oct. 8, 2021) – The ETSU women’s golf team didn’t skip a beat.
Following their win a week and a half ago at the Golfweek Red Sky Classic, the Buccaneers carried momentum back with them to Colorado for the Ron Moore Intercollegiate. The Blue and Gold got off to a commanding lead thanks to 28 birdies and one eagle as ETSU set a school record by firing a blistering 17-under-par 271 on Friday from the University of Denver Golf Club at Highlands Ranch. The previous record of 10-under-par was set at last season's River Landing Classic.
Following their dominating performance, the Bucs – who moved to their highest ranking in program history at No. 36 – hold a 14-shot lead heading in Saturday’s second round. Tournament host Denver carded a 3-under-par 285, while Grand Canyon sits in third place at 2-under-par 286. San Francisco and Cal Poly are tied for fourth at 1-under-par 287.
"What a day! These ladies are having so much fun playing this game," said reigning SoCon Coach of the Year Stefanie Shelton. "They are super tough and resilient, and are always looking for the next chance. Today, we blew past a previous program record, and I know they have more to destroy."
Senior newcomer Hollie Muse (Liverpool, England) paced the Bucs as she fired a 7-under-par 65, marking the lowest round by an ETSU golfer since Nina Muehl (Vienna, Austria) posted a school-record 8-under-par 64 in the first round of the 2010 NCAA East Regional. Muse holds a three-stroke lead over teammate Sera Hasegawa (Gifu, Japan) and Denver’s Alyson Bean.
Muse, who totaled the tournament’s lowest round since 2015, registered seven birdies, an eagle and eight pars. The seven birdies were the most from any golfer in the 86-player field, while she was just one of three individuals to score an eagle on the course Friday. Muse led the field in par-4 scoring (3.60) and was tied for the lead in par-5 scoring (4.00).
Like Muse, Hasegawa also recorded her lowest round of her collegiate career by finishing at 4-under 68. Hasegawa finished on a strong note as she collected five birdies over her final seven holes to charge up the leaderboard.
A pair of Bucs are one shot behind Hasegawa in a tie fourth at 3-under 69. Senior Tereza Melecka (Belcovice, Czech Republic) and freshman Alex Crafton (Lake Mary, Fla.) are both in the hunt. Melecka also caught fire at the end by stringing together three straight birdies to finish the round, while Crafton used her blazing start to set the tone early with four straight birdies.
Sophomore Grace Chin (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) is tied for 15th at 1-under-par 71.
The Bucs look to carry momentum into second round play which gets underway Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. ET. ETSU will be grouped with Denver and Grand Canyon and tee off at 12:09 p.m. ET.
Live scoring for the tournament is available on BirdieFire.com. Updates will also be posted on Twitter at @ETSUWomensGolf, while recaps will be posted on ETSUBucs.com at the conclusion of each day.
For more information on ETSU women’s golf, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women’s golf tab.