Eagles Lead Big Sky Championship After Day One

April 21, 2008

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The Eastern Washington University women's golf team is leading the Big Sky Conference Championship after day one in both the team and individual competitions. Kellie Holmstedt, one of just two starting Eagle players to not earn All-Big Sky first team accolades, is pacing the field by two strokes with a 71 (one-below-par) in action on Monday (April 21).

On the team leader board, the Eagles shot a 300 today and lead second-place Northern Arizona (302) by two strokes. Following the Lumberjacks are Portland State (306), Northern Colorado (308), Montana (310), Sacramento State (321), Montana State (326), Weber State (327) and Idaho State (336).

Holmstedt, an All-Big Sky second team honoree, had four birdies today (holes 6, 12, 13 and 15) to counterbalance a trio of bogies (7, 8 and 9). She hit par on the other 11 holes. Her 71 today is a new best round for the freshman, who previously shot a 73 in the first and third rounds of the MDA Invitational on Sept. 24 and 25, respectively.

"Shooting under par is great for anyone, let alone a freshman," head coach Marc Hughes said. "Kellie just kind of plugged along around par for most of the day and then had some birdies on the last third of the course. I'm really happy for her, and she will gain some valuable experience over the next two days."

An incredible season that has seen a different Eagle step up every tournament continues today. Each of the five golfers competing for Eastern Washington this week have claimed Big Sky Golfer of the Week honors at some point during the 2007-08 season, a first in league history (never before had a team had as many as four separate individuals earn the league's weekly honors).

Impressively, the rest of the quintet of Eagle players finished today ranked among the top 17 players. Next in the standings for the Eagles was Chelsey Lollar, who is tied for fifth with a 75, while Marli Mikulecky and Chloe Nelson are tied for the 12th slot with 77s. In a 17th-place stalemate is Kristina Gargaro (78).

"We were really solid top to bottom today," Hughes said. "Everyone shot in the 70's and we ended the day in the lead. It's hard to find fault with that. I said coming in that the tournament will be really competitive, and I'm happy that we are in the mix."

Day two's play will begin at 6:52 a.m. on Tuesday (April 22). The Eagles will start teeing off at 8:07 a.m. The tournament concludes with the final round on Wednesday (April 23), which also begins at 6:52 a.m. The entire tournament may be followed live at www.Golfstat.com.

The winner of the tournament claims the Big Sky's automatic berth into the NCAA Regionals.

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