McGinty, Romero off to fast starts at Women's Patriot All-America
Caley McGinty (Courtesy of Oklahoma State Athletics)
Caley McGinty (Courtesy of Oklahoma State Athletics)

Caley McGinty of Oklahoma State and Kaleiya Romero of Pepperdine share the first round lead at the Patriot All-America Women's Invitational being held at the Wigwam Resort outside of Phoenix.

The two golfers carded 4-under rounds of 66 on the Wigwam's Blue Course on Wednesday and hold a one-stroke lead over Sabrina Iqbal of TCU and Valery Plata of Michigan State, who opened with rounds of 65.

McGinty picked up four birdies for an inward nine of 31 and a round of 66 while Romero made four birdies in a bogey-free round to keep pace with Great Britain & Ireland Curtis Cup team member.

McGinty and Romero have both had their share of success this season.

McGinty, a junior at Oklahoma State, won the Schooner Fall Classic in Norman, Okla. at the end of September and picked up her second win of the fall a few weeks later at the Jim West Challenge in San Marcos, Texas. Romero, a sophomore, won her first event of the season at the Dick McGuire Invitational in Albuquerque, NM, where she defeated BYU's Lila Galeai in a playoff for her first collegiate victory.

Just one off the pace is Plata, last year's Big 10 Player of the Year who won the inaugural Women's Amateur Latin America Championship in November, and Iqbal of TCU, who had four top-10 finishes in the fall.

Five golfers are three back at 2-under while five others sit at 1-under, including Jennie Park of Texas A&M, who had a wild ride around Wigwam on Wednesday with eight birdies, four bogeys and a double. Four of her eight birdies came on the last five holes for an inward nine of 31 and a round of 69.

The Patriot All-America Invitational continues on Thursday with final round play scheduled for New Year's Eve.

The Patriot All-America honors fallen or severely wounded soldiers in partnership with the Folds of Honor Foundation. The golfers receive a golf bag donated by PING Corporation at the event’s opening ceremony emblazoned with the name and branch of service of a fallen or injured military member whom they shall represent. Participants also receive a card with the soldier’s story so they can be familiar with that soldier. The golf bags are then sold with proceeds donated to Folds of Honor to support the families affected.

Results: Patriot All-America Women's Invitational
1ColombiaValery PlataColombia70067-65-66=198
2GAIvy ShepherdPeachtree City, GA50070-64-67=201
3AZAshley MenneSurprise, AZ40070-66-66=202
T4MalaysiaNatasha Andrea OonMalaysia40069-65-69=203
T4CASabrina IqbalSan Jose, CA40067-69-67=203

View full results for Patriot All-America Women's Invitational

ABOUT THE Patriot All-America Women's Invitational

The Wigwam and the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA), in partnership with the Folds of Honor Foundation present the Patriot All- America Women's Invitational. It's one of the most unique events in all of golf.

42 top collegiate players named to the PING All- America team in NCAA Division I,II and III, NAIA and NJCAA, AJGA, one player from each military academy and select international players compete in a 54- hole championship.

Each player honors our military by carrying a bag with the name, rank and service of a fallen or severely wounded soldier embroidered on the pocket. Following the championship, the bags go to the players’ school for auction, with proceeds benefiting the Folds of Honor.

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