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Arkansas Tech shot just six birdies on the day as the Golden Suns finished 14th with a 28-over 320 on the first day of the NCAA Division II National Championships on the Champion Course at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

The No. 9 Golden Suns had four double-bogeys and five triple-bogeys in their first round. No. 27 Southwestern Oklahoma State finished the day third with a 13-over 305, five strokes out of the lead, as the only other team from the Great American Conference to advance to this week's tournament. Cal State-San Marcos leads the tournament with a 7-over 299 with Barry sitting second with a 12-over 304.

Henderson State's Luisa Gartmann is representing the conference as an individual, shooting a 13-over 86 in the opening round to sit tied for 84th with Grand Valley State's Maria Sol Pose. SWOSU's Gloria Choi sits three strokes out of the lead with a 1-under 72 in her first round after finishing as the runner-up (5-over 218) in last week's Central Regional at Mukogee (Okla.) Golf Club.

No. 64 Pia Nunbhakdi leads the Golden Suns after 18 holes with a 1-over 74 with just three bogeys against two birdies on the day. Nunbhakdi, who finished tied for ninth in last week's regional after finishing third in the regional, struggled on the front nine, making the turn with a 3-over 39 before shooting a 2-under 35 on the back nine to finish ninth at the end of the round.

No. 32 Jacqueline Klemm shot a 6-over 79 in her first round, tying her worst round of the year after finishing third in the GAC Championships and fifth in the Central Regional. Klemm, in a seven-way tie for 40th out of 95 competitors, got just two birdies.

No. 89 Sydney Staton struggled on the back nine after a 2-over 38 on the front left her with an 8-over 81. No. 10 Peerada Piddon, who won the Central Regional and was tied with Klemm for third in the GAC Championships, turned in her worst card since joining the Golden Suns from Barton Community College. She shot a 7-over 43 on the front nine before finishing 14-over 87.

Allie Weiner, who won the GAC Championship last month, shot her second-worst career round with a 15-over 88. She turned in two triple-bogeys while hitting par on just eight holes, failing to get a single birdie.

The Division II National Championship has a different format for the first time since its inception in 2000. Participants will play 54 holes of stroke play with the top eight schools advancing to team match play on Friday and Saturday. The quarterfinals and semifinals will be played Friday with the top two teams competing Saturday. The individual medal will be presented following Thursday's conclusion of stroke play.

Sports on 05/15/2019

Print Headline: Golden Suns 14th after first round of national championship

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