Oxford, Miss. - Western Carolina senior Mariah Hopkins and freshman Maddi Caldwell sit in a tie for 31st overall to lead the Catamounts into a tie for 11th after 18 holes at the 2016 Rebel Intercollegiate, hosted at the par-72, 6,323-yard Ole Miss Golf Club. The Catamounts combined to shoot 310, just seven strokes outside the top 10.
Playing unattached as an individual, junior Bethany Galloway was a third WCU golfer to shoot 5-over par, 77, on Friday to sit in the tie for 31st after the first round.
Paired with golfers from Tulsa and Western Kentucky, WCU's scoring five will again tee-off on the back nine beginning at 10:36 am ET / 9:36 am CT on Saturday morning. Galloway will be paired with two other individuals in the final pairing off the back nine at approximately 11:57 am ET / 10:57 am. Live scoring of the tournament is available online through BirdieFire.com.
Hopkins countered six bogies -- three aside -- and 11 pars with a birdie on the par-5 14th to shoot the 5-over round. Caldwell was even-par through her first six holes before consecutive bogies left her making the turn at 2-over. The Dawsonville, Ga., native -- and reigning SoCon Women's Golfer of the Week -- charted five pars, two bogies, a double-bogey and one birdie on the final nine holes of her opening round to match Hopkins.
Senior Kim Mitchell and freshman Natalia Villavicencio are tied for 43rd with matching scores of 6-over par, 78. Mitchell rallied from a 5-over par back nine to shoot a team-best, 1-over par front nine. Villavicencio recorded a team-best two birdies, but two double-bogies and four bogies left her at 78.
Rounding out WCU's scoring five was junior Ashley Thompson, tied for 53rd overall after shooting a 7-over par, 79. The Clyde, N.C., product had eight bogies and one birdie on Friday.
Galloway posted three bogies a side, making the turn at 2-over after a birdie on the par-4 18th to accompany 11 pars.
All told, WCU ranks tied for fifth in the tournament field with 53 combined pars while ranking third in par-4 scoring at 4.24 (+12).
Troy sits in the clubhouse as the first-round leader, holding a three-stroke lead over second-place, ETSU, 297-to-300. Harvard (301) sits in third place, four strokes off the pace followed by a two-way tie for fourth between tournament-host Ole Miss and Murray State, six strokes in arrears at 303.
Five different golfers from five different schools stand tied for the tournament individual lead at 1-under par, 71. Tulsa's Nadia Majidizadeh, Moa Folke of Murray State, Anne Cheng of Harvard, Gabi Oubre of Troy and Maddy Cox from James Madison are all tied for the individual lead.
Second round action gets underway at 9:51 am ET / 8:51 am CT on Saturday. A complete recap and results will be made available at the conclusion of the round.