DALLAS – University of Houston junior Leonie Harm used a quick start and a strong finish to grab a share of the First-Round lead at the Battle at the Beach at Club Campestre San Jose on Friday afternoon
Starting her day on No. 9 on the 6,360-yard, par-71 course, Harm sank birdies on two of her first three holes and closed out her day with birdies on each of her final two holes to join Wake Forest’s Jennifer Kupcho atop the individual leaderboard with 67s.
It was Harm’s team-leading third round in the 60s in 2017-18.
After finishing second as a team at the Trinity Forest Invitational earlier this week, the Cougars – who stand at No. 22 in the latest Golfstat national rankings – continued their hot recent play and were in third place with a score of 1-under 283.
It was Houston’s second-lowest team round of the year, trailing only the 282 in the Second Round of the Maryb S. Kauth Invitational on Oct. 23 in San Antonio, Texas.
Oklahoma held the first-day lead at 281, while UCLA stood in second at 282. Following the Cougars, Texas (286), Auburn (288), Baylor (290), Wake Forest (290), Virginia (290), North Carolina (294) and Mississippi State (296) rounded out the top-10 leaders.
Senior Courtney Tibiletti joined Harm in posting a red number Friday. The Huntsville, Texas, native started her day on a rough note with a bogey on No. 12 and added her second bogey of the day on No. 16
Fortunately, that would be the last bogey of the day for Tibiletti, who used a strong finish like Harm. She drained birdie on the par-4 third hole and enjoyed back-to-back birdies on Nos. 5-6 to finish with a 70 and tie for eighth.
Senior Megan Thothong joined Harm and Tibiletti among the top-20 leaders with a 72 to tie for 20th. Senior Allie Andersen was tied for 36th at 74, while sophomore Amanda Elich was tied for 71st at 79.
Fans can follow live scoring from the Battle at the Beach by visiting BirdieFire.com and following the appropriate links or by clicking here.
Saturday’s Second Round begins with an 8:30 a.m., start. The Cougars will compete in groups with student-athletes from Oklahoma, UCLA and Texas.
Elich will be in the second group off No. 5 with Andersen (No. 4), Thothong (No. 3), Tibiletti (No. 2) and Harm (No. 1 following.
The tournament wraps up Sunday with an 8 a.m., shotgun start.
Following the Battle at the Beach, the Cougars open their spring season at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Championship on Feb. 18-20, 2018, at English Turn Country Club in New Orleans.
From there, the team will play host to their own The Dickson on Feb. 26-27 at The Woodlands Country Club in The Woodlands, Texas.
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