Kent State breaks fast at Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge
13 Mar 2022
by Jim Young of AmateurGolf.com

see also: View results for Northrop Grumman Challenge, Palos Verdes Golf Club, Rachel Kuehn Rankings

Rachel Kuehn (Courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics)
Rachel Kuehn (Courtesy of Wake Forest Athletics)

With nine teams ranked inside the top-25 of the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge is a showcase for one of the strongest regular-season women's fields of the spring.

While the tradition-rich Kent State program is not one of those teams this year, the Golden Flashes sent a reminder to the rest of the field they can still hold their own against some of the nation's elite.

After the first round of the Palo Verdes (Calif.) Country Club, Kent State leads a loaded field at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge after the Golden Flashes carded a 2-over par 286 on Sunday. Third-ranked Oregon and No. 8 Virginia are just one off the pace at 3-over 287 while No. 13 Arizona State and No. 21 Duke round out the top-five.

Kent State's Chloe Salort and Noramol Nuchsila each fired 1-under rounds of 70 to lead the Golden Flashes to the top of the leaderboard. Casey VanDamme's team also counted rounds of 72 by Emily Price (t-16) and a 74 by Valentina Albertazzi (t-29) to secure the first-round lead.

Rachel Kuehn of Wake Forest opened with a 4-under 67 and holds a one-stroke lead over Carolina Melgrati of Arizona and Auburn's Julie McCarthy, who is playing as an individual. Kuehn, winner of the Tar Heel Invitational in the fall, made five birdies on her outward nine to turn in 4-under and played even-par golf over her final nine holes to finish with a 67.

As a team, Wake Forest sits in sixth-place at 8-over par.

The third-ranked Oregon Ducks, in search of their third team title of the season, is just one stroke back of Kent State after carding a 3-over 287 on Sunday. Junior Briana Chacon paced the Ducks in round one with a 1-under 70 to put her in a tie for fifth place three strokes behind Kuehn.

Virginia was led by senior Riley Smyth who shot 2-under 69 to sit in fourth place.

The sixth-ranked USC Trojans, winners of their last two events, opened with an 11-over 295 and are nine strokes behind Kent State heading into Monday's play. The Trojans, playing close to home, are seeking their fifth overall title at this event.

The Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge will continue with 18 holes on Monday and Tuesday.

Results: Northrop Grumman Challenge
1NCRachel KuehnAsheville, NC80067-67-69=203
2CABeth LillieFullerton, CA50071-69-68=208
3GermanyAlexandra ForsterlingGermany40075-67-67=209
T4Chinese TaipeiHsin-Yu LuChinese Taipei40071-70-71=212
T4DenmarkSofie Kibsgaard NielsenDenmark40071-70-71=212

View full results for Northrop Grumman Challenge

ABOUT THE Northrop Grumman Challenge

Women's college tournament started in 1996 as a way to kick off the Spring season. Team (best four scores out of five players) and individual competitions.

View Complete Tournament Information

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