Mustangs tied for 3rd at Otter Invitational

Freshman Lexi Read led the way for MSU Monday in California / Source: MSU Athletics
Freshman Lexi Read led the way for MSU Monday in California / Source: MSU Athletics

SEASIDE, CA (KAUZ) - Freshmen Alexis Read and Cheleen Cousins delivered strong rounds to lift Midwestern State to a strong team total of 312 to stand third after the opening round of the Otter Invitational Monday afternoon at the par-72, 5,890-yard Bayonet Golf Course.

"This is not an easy golf course," MSU coach Jeff Ray said. "We're right on the bubble for making the regional tournament, so this is very important to us. Lexi and Cheleen stepped up and had big rounds on a really big stage."

Read, a 5-6 freshman from Paradise, notched a team-best three birdies playing her final 12 holes at even par to tie for ninth with a 4-over 76.

"Lexi played a great round," Ray said. "She's a hard worker who has put a lot of time in since we've been back after Christmas. She spends the most time at the golf course and it shows."

Cousins, a 5-6 frosh from Frisco, marked seven pars with a birdie and bogey to go even on the Back Nine to notch a 6-over 76 to tie for 18th, while MSU senior duo Sierra Campbell and Hayley Dambold carded matching 7-over 79s to supply countable scores and tie for 29th.

The tournament features six teams ranked amongst GolfStat's national relative ratings as Midwestern State trails only No. 2 Dallas Baptist (298/+10) and No. 21 Academy of Art (Calif.) (306/+18).

"The field is great so this can put us in a great position in the region," Ray said. "We will have to play well tomorrow, but this is a great situation with decent golf weather."

The Mustangs head into Tuesday's final round tied with No. 14 Sonoma State (Calif.) and No. 29 California State, Monterey Bay, while No. 57 Holy Names (Calif.) (314/+26), No. 5 California Baptist (315/+27) and No. 4 Tarleton State (317/+29) are all within five strokes.

Junior Sarah Moore is tied for 52nd following an opening round 82, while sophomore May Chimsuti carded an 86 to tie for 77th competing as an individual medalist only.

Five golfers fired a 1-over 73 to top the leader board including Addison Mitchell and Ann Parmerter of Dallas Baptist, Sterling Hawkins and Shu-Lin Lin of Academy of Art and Holy Names' Chisay Arai.

The final round begins with a shotgun start Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. (Pacific).

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