PALM DESERT, Calif. – Sophomore Marni Murez took a 3-shot lead into the clubhouse and Santa Clara women's golf has a 2-stroke bulge over Hawai'i after the first day of competition at the Wyoming Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate. The Broncos will go for a repeat of their team title when the field tees up for a single 18-hole final round Sunday on the 6,097-yard, par-72 Classic Club in Palm Desert, Calif.
The Broncos rebounded from a first-round 303 and carded the best score of the day with a second-round 295 to move ahead of Hawai'i at 22-over 598. "We got off to a slow start in round 1, but ultimately they rallied and bounced back in round 2," head coach Krystal Kelly said.
Murez matched the day's low round with a 1-under 71 over the second 18-holes. She carded a first-round 73 and is the only player at even-par. Murez will take a 3-shot lead over Emma Lower of Hawai'i into Sunday's final round. "Marni played really well today," Kelly said. "This course suits her game."
Three other Broncos placed among the top-15 in the 75-player field.
Senior Kristin Le sliced four shots off her first-round score with a 1-over 73 in the afternoon. She's tied for sixth at 6-over 150. Senior Kyleigh Moreno is a shot back at 7-over 151 after rounds of 74 and 77. She's tied for eighth. Sophomore Chloe Wong is tied for 13th at 9-over 153.
"They hit some impressive shots out there today," Kelly said of her team. "They stayed focused and that will be our game plan for tomorrow. Be aggressive when we can and just find our rhythm. I know they are capable of posting a good number."
Final round action gets underway with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. PT. "It will be fun tomorrow," Kelly noted. "We have four players in the top-15 and I would love to see one of them bring home the individual title."
Santa Clara 2nd Round Individual Results
1. Marni Murez 73-71 = 144 (E)
T6. Kristin Le 77-73 = 150 (+6)
T8. Kyleigh Moreno 74-77 = 151 (+7)
T13. Chloe Wong 79-74 = 153 (+9)
T50. Sarah Busey 84-80 = 164 (+20)
T34. Grace Fitzgerald* 82-78 = 160 (+16)
T73. Vanessa Giampaoli* 91-90 = 181 (+37)
*competing as an individual