FISHERS, Ind. – Jenna Hague is two shots off the lead and Ball Sate is part of a cluster in the middle of the leaderboard after Friday's opening round at the 2014 Mid-American Conference Women's Golf Championships.
Kent State turned in the day’s top score with a round of 8-over par 296 and has four players in the top 10 at The Hawthorns Golf & Country Club. The Golden Flashes lead second-place Toledo by six shots and hold at least a 17-stroke advantage over the other teams in the field.
Ball State is tied for sixth after posting a 318 in a round that featured cold, rainy conditions throughout much of the morning before the sun came out and the wind kicked up. The Cardinals, hosting the event, are one of four teams within five shots of third-place Akron.
The second round is Saturday with tee times starting at 8 a.m., and the final round will be played Sunday. Live scoring throughout the championships is available at birdiefire.com.
"We saw a variety of conditions today, none of which were easy to play in, but it was that way for the entire field," Ball State head coach Katherine Mowat said. "Upon first glance, our position right now doesn't look good, but with so many teams being so close together, we know can make a significant move tomorrow."
Toledo's Stephanie St-Jean and Kent State's Wad Phaewchimplee share the individual lead after even-par rounds of 72, while three golfers are one shot back in a tie for third. Hague led the Cardinals with an opening-round 74 and sits in sixth place individually.
Hague has won twice at The Hawthorns during her college career, including the 2012 MAC Championships on the same course. The junior from Burlington, Ontario, double bogeyed her opening hole of the tournament but quickly righted her round Friday. She made back-to-back birdies at the sixth and seventh holes and turned at even par before playing the back nine in 2 over.
"Jenna was clearly the highlight of our team round today," Mowat said. "She held in there, and she played really good golf, all in all. For her to be two shots out of the lead, I know she feels confident in what she can do over the weekend."
Seniors Meghan Perry and Sarah Westaway are the next Cardinals on the leaderboard in a tie for 23rd after rounds of 80 (+8). Perry was 2 over for the day until playing the final six holes in 6 over. Westaway opened with a 43 on the front side but rebounded to post the team's best score on the back with a 37.
The Cardinals share the sixth-place position with Ohio, which had its round bolstered by a hole in one from Kara Brinkmann on the 15th hole. The Cardinals will play in the first wave of tee times Saturday alongside Western Michigan and Bowling Green, starting at 8 a.m.
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