Julia Lopez Ramirez and Gunnar Broin
A pair of 7-under rounds of 65 by Kansas' Gunnar Broin and Julia Lopez Ramirez highlighted the first round of The Blessiings Collegiate Invitational being held in Fayetteville, Ark.
Broin, a junior from Sherwood, Minn., collected eight birdies on his first 13 holes, including five straight on hole Nos. 9-13 en route to his 65 and a two-stroke lead over Caden Fioroni and Yuki Moriyama of UNLV.
His 7-under 65 was a career-best and also tied a BCI single-round record.
Whatever Lopez Ramirez said to herself after an opening bogey at The Blessings Golf Club seemed to work. The sophomore from Malaga, Spain preceded to run off six consecutive birdies to turn at 5-under. Lopez Ramirez picked up two more birdies to start her inward nine to move to 7-under and after giving two back with bogeys on 13 and 14, collected her ninth and 10th birdies of the day on holes 15 and 17 to sign for a 65, a women's competitive course record at The Blessings.
Lopez Ramirez's hot start at The Blessings comes on the heels of a strong finish last week at the Mason Rudolph Intercollegiate when she birdied the last three holes to lead the Bulldogs to a come-from-behind victory. That's a run of nine birdies in a stretch of 10 holes.
At 7-under, Lopez Ramirez enjoys a six-shot lead over Andrea Lignell of Ole Miss and Adela Cernousek of Texas A&M, who both opened with rounds of 71.
Behind Lopez Ramirez's blistering round, 11th-ranked Mississippi State finished the day at 1-under, good for a nine-stroke lead over Ole Miss (+8).
"Today was obviously a special round by Julia," said Mississippi State head coach Charlie Ewing. "To shoot a course record anywhere is always an incredible accomplishment. It was really cool for all of us to be there to witness it. We all know she's ready to put that behind her and set her mind to having a really solid second round. That goes for the whole team as well. We just need to go out and do our job in round two."
On the men's side, host Arkansas carded a 4-under 284 on its home course to open a two-shot lead over Kansas in its quest for a third straight BCI championship.
The Razorbacks were paced by the Argentine duo of Mateo Fernandez De Oliveira and Segundo Pinto, who opened with rounds of 70 and 71, respectively.
"Even though our results in the first two events were not what we wanted, we were playing better than our results," said Arkansas head coach Brad McMakin. "Today, we continued to drive the ball exceptionally well and started to see the rest of our game come together. We didn’t leave many shots out there and, when we got in trouble, our guys managed their games well to minimize damages. I could not be prouder of our guys, including our individuals, and am excited for the next two days.”
GOLF Channel will continue its live coverage from The Blessings with second and third round action on Tuesday and Wednesday.
ABOUT THE Blessings Collegiate
Started in 2020, the Blessings Collegiate Invitational
features men’s and women’s teams competing in a 54-
hole stroke play format for individual and team honors.
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