Mortellaro Ends First Day of NCAA Regional at +1 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

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Mortellaro Ends First Day of NCAA Regional at +1

Updated:
© Kayla Mortellaro finished the first round of the NCAA West Regional tied for 18th place (Photo: Univ. of Idaho Athletics) © Kayla Mortellaro finished the first round of the NCAA West Regional tied for 18th place (Photo: Univ. of Idaho Athletics)

by Univ. of Idaho Athletics

University of Idaho senior Kayla Mortellaro is tied for 18th after the first round of the NCAA West Regional Golf Tournament at Colorado National Golf Club.

Mortellaro overcame a shaky start to finish at one-over 73 over the course that measured nearly 6,500 yards. She is five strokes back of leader Sydney Burlison of Stanford, which also is the team leader after 18 holes.

"Kayla was very steady today," coach Lisa Johnson said.

Johnson said the turning point for Mortellaro, who bogeyed two of the first three holes, were back-to-back birdies at four and five. Her approach on the 345-yard, par-4 fourth was within three feet. She sank that putt before connecting on an arching, 60-foot birdie putt on the 175-yard, par-3 fifth.

"That helped get the momentum going," Johnson said. "She really calmed down after that."

Mortellaro made the turn at even-par before a bogey at 11 on the challenging 415-yard, par-4.

"She didn't make many mistakes," said Johnson, who added the course is by far the most difficult Mortellaro has played this season – made more challenging by the speed of the greens.

The tournament continues Friday and concludes Saturday. Mortellaro is the top player among those not playing on teams.

Behind Burlison in first are Baylor's Hayley Davis, who is at 69, and North Carolina's Catherine O'Donnell at 70. Nine players are tied at 71 and six are tied at even-par 72.

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