TEMPE, Ariz. - Colorado is in sixth place after the first round of the 2018 PING/ASU Invitational at Arizona State's Karsten Golf Course.
The No. 18 ranked Buffaloes carded a 7-over, 295, on the par-72, 6,337-yard course, with three golfers in the top 14, finishing within one stroke of each other.
Sophomore Kirsty Hodgkins had the Buffaloes' low round shooting a 1-under 71 and is just four strokes off the lead. Senior Brittany Fan and Sophomore Robyn Choi each shot an even 72.
No. 16 Washington is the leader after the first round shooting a 4-under 284. No. 50 Georgia and No. 15 Arizona are tied for second, one stroke back, while No. 17 Oklahoma State is two back at 286. Arizona's Bianca Pagdanganan was the leader in the clubhouse with a 5-under 67.
"We had three good scorers but struggled in the fourth and fifth position today," head coach Anne Kelly said. "A little disappointed in the overall score, but Robyn, Brittany and Kirsty really pulled the bus today that's for sure."
Hodgkins had her best round of the spring and is tied for ninth on the individual leaderboard. She started strong, shooting 3-under over the first six holes. Hodgkins birdied the first two of four straight par-4's to begin course and then logged a third birdie on the 470-yard par-5 No. 6. After finishing the front at 2-under, she bogeyed the second-longest hole on the course, the 498-yard par-5 No. 10, but responded immediately with her fourth birdie of the round on the par-4 No. 11.
Hodgkins closed out her round with six pars over her final seven holes for her eighth subpar round of the season.
"Kirsty struggled in the last tourney, but she and (assistant coach Brent Franklin) clicked onto something in her swing and worked really hard with that. She stuck with it today; committed to it," Kelly said. "She played some good golf today."
Choi was even through the first nine and fell into a little trouble on the 410-yard 11th, recording a double-bogey. She responded quickly with three straight birdies. Showing some versatility in her game, Choi birdied the par-3 No. 12, par-4 No. 13 and par-5 No. 14 in succession. Choi dropped a stroke with a bogey on No. 15 but held her spot, tied for 14th overall, by playing even over the final three.
"Robyn was really in quite a bit of (back) pain, but (down the stretch) it loosed up a little bit for her," Kelly said. "She's been working on her wedges and on the par-5 she birdied she had a nice tight wedge in and another on the par-4. She's put a lot of work into and it has paid off."