Midwestern State junior Kendra Whittley fired a 1-under-par 71 to grab the first round lead individually and place the Mustangs in second as a team at the 2012 Firestone Lone Star Conference Championships at the Whitworth Course of the Trophy Club Country Club.
The Mustangs stand at 302 after the opening round, just three strokes behind leader Tarleton State and 13 in front of third place Texas A&M-Commerce on the team leaderboard.
Whittley, a junior from Wall, started the day by going 3-over on the front nine. But she came alive on the back side of the par 72, 5,864-yard circuit.
Going birdie-birdie on 10 and 11, Whittley stood at 1-over until giving up another stroke with a bogie on 14. She got that stroke back with a birdie on the 15.
But she made her move 16, recording the only eagle in women's action to jump to 1-under. She parred the last two holes to finish at 71 for her best round of the season and second-best of her career. She had a 70 in the opening round of last season's LSC Championship.
Junior Taylor Klutts sits in a tie for sixth just three strokes back after a 2-over-74. She posted one birdie, a bogey and suffered a double-bogey, while shooting par golf on the other 15 holes.
Freshman Brenna Moore struggled in her first LSC Championship round, suffering six bogies before chalking up a birdie on her final hole for a 5-over-77. She still is just six strokes off the pace in a tie for 12th.
Junior Lindsey Burkhart is tied for 17th after posting an 8-over-80. Junior Lauren Romines carded an 83 in championship play.
The Mustangs play in the final groupings for Tuesday's championship round with Tarleton State and Texas A&M-Commerce starting a 9:20 at the Trophy Club Country Club.
The Midwestern State Mustangs stand in third after the opening two rounds of the 2012 Firestone Lone Star Conference Golf Championships on the Whitworth Course of the Trophy Club Country Club.
The Mustangs were paced by the 1-over-par 145 total of senior Trevor Arianna and freshman Derek Oland who stands tied for fourth.
Arianna fired a 1-under 71 in the first round and followed it with a 2-over 74 in the second round. Oland carded an even-par 72 in the first 18, and added a 1-over 73 in the second.
As a team, the Mustangs shot a 4-over 292 in the opening round and improved in the second round with an even- par 288, but not as well as Cameron and Abilene Christian.
Cameron opened with a 288, then added a 5-under 283 to total 5-under 571 for the team lead. ACU had a horrid opening rounds, posting a 302, then came back with a 14-under 274 to stand 576, four strokes ahead of the Mustangs. MSU is nine behind Cameron.
Junior Raine Copeland is just outside the top 10, tied for 11th at 3-over 147 after a 2-over 74 and a 1-over 73 on Monday.
Sophomore Jeremy LeGuen and junior Sam Smith are tied for 15th after the first day at 4-over 148. LeGuen toured the par 72, 7,000-yard Whitworth Course in 75-73 on Monday, while Smith posted an opening round 79 and the low MSU score of 3-under 69 in the second.
Individually, Cameron's Garrett Smith leads the tournament at 5-under 139, after posting a 71-68. ACU's Alex Carpenter answered an opening round 6-over 78 with the low round of the tournament, a 7-under 65, to stand four strokes back at 1-under 143. West Texas A&M's Blake Crowder is in third at even-par 144.
The most unusual day was supplied by Abilene Christian's Corbin Renner. Renner opened with a 9-over 81, then fired a 6-under 66 to tie with Copeland in 11th at 147.
The Mustangs play in the final pairings of the tournament with Cameron and ACU on Tuesday starting at 10:48 on the Whitworth Course.
Midwestern State freshman Brenna Moore earned first team All-Lone Star Conference honors and head coach Jeff Ray was selected LSC Coach of the Year to lead the Mustangs in honors at the LSC's Golf Award Banquet on Sunday night in Trophy Club, Texas.
Moore, also named the Lone Star Conference Freshman of the Year, carries a 75.72 stroke average into this week's Firestone LSC Tournament at the Trophy Club's Whitworth Course. With six top five finishes this season and top 10 finishes in all but one tournament this season, Moore is ranked fourth in Super Region 4 and 17th in Division II by Golfstat.
The Burkburnett freshman has the lowest stroke average of any freshman in Division II according to Golfstat.
Joining Moore on the All-LSC team are juniors Taylor Klutts and Kendra Whittley, who were both named to the second team.
Klutts, from Lake Kiowa who attended Callisburg High, holds a 77.83 stroke average with four top 10 finishes this season, including a second place finish at the Bluebonnet Classic. She's ranked 72nd in Division II by Golfstat.
Whittley, from Wall, has a 77.94 average with two top 10 finishes and six top 20 finishes. She placed third at the Bluebonnet Classic and is ranked 116 in Division II by Golfstat.
Ray, who has coached the Mustangs women since beginning the program two years ago, was honored as the LSC Women's Coach of the Year for this first time. He has brought the Mustangs from an idea to being ranked 17th in Division II and fourth in Super Region 4 in just three seasons.
It's the third different sport for Ray to earn Coach of the Year honors, as he was also selected LSC Coach of the Year in men's basketball and NAIA District 8 Coach of the Year in women's basketball.
The Mustangs began play in the Lone Star Conference Tournament on Monday.