CINCINNATI, Ohio — University of Iowa junior Jessica Ip fired a 75 (+3) to lead the women’s golf team in the opening round of the Big Ten Championships on Friday afternoon. The Hawkeyes are in 11th place (312; +24) with 36 holes left to play at TPC River’s Bend in Cincinnati, Ohio.
“This is a demanding golf course, but I believe that there are good scores out there to be had,” said UI head coach Megan Menzel. “It takes patience, and you have to know which holes you need to capitalize on.
“Every time you play a golf course you have an opportunity to learn what it is demanding from your game. You have to be smart and make the adjustments, and come out with a renewed confidence and outlook on the course the next day.”
No. 12 Northwestern leads the team field following an opening-round 288 (E). Wisconsin is in second at 291 (+3).
Ip registered 13 holes at-or-below par to card a three-over-par 75. The junior tallied three birdies, including two in her final four holes. She is tied for 20th heading into Saturday’s second round.
“Jessica put together a very solid first round,” said Menzel. “She came out very focused and determined to put together a steady opening day.”
Junior Morgan Kukla followed, making par on 15 holes en route to a five-over-par 77. She is tied for 35th overall with 36 holes remaining.
Jessie Sindlinger notched the third-best round of the day for the Hawkeyes. The senior carded an opening-round 79 (+7), registering 10 holes at par or below. She is tied for 52nd.
Junior Elisa Suarez made par or better on 10 holes to register an opening-round 81 (+9). She is tied for 62nd overall heading into Saturday’s second round.
Redshirt sophomore Shawn Rennegarbe and freshman Sophie Liu rounded out the Hawkeye lineup. Rennegarbe is tied for 73rd after an opening-round 83 (+11), while Liu is 77th at 84 (+12).
The 2017 Big Ten Championships continue on Saturday with 7:30 a.m. (CT) tee times off of holes 1 and 10.