Southern Cal’s Jennifer Song, Purdue’s Maude-Aimee LeBlanc and Arizona State’s Jennifer Johnson each shot 5-under 67s to share the individual lead at the Country Club of Landfall.
USC and Purdue were the only teams under par at the 6,368-yard Pete Dye Course. Defending champion Arizona State and top-ranked UCLA, two of six Pac-10 members in the 24-team field, were tied for third with Duke at 288. Alabama and Florida State were at 1 over.
Arizona State has won seven NCAA titles, the most of any Division I team, and Duke has won five – all since 1999.
Song and Johnson in particular finished strong. Song eagled the 18th hole, hitting an approach from about 175 yards within a few feet of the hole. Johnson made four birdies in her final six holes.
The fourth-ranked Trojans also got a strong round from Cyna Rodriguez, who shot 4-under 68 to share second place with UCLA’s Brianna Do and Duke’s Kim Donovan. A total of 19 players shot rounds under par on the first day.
Florida State’s Jessica Negron, the nation’s 93rd-ranked player, shot a bogey-free 69. Seminoles teammate Maria Salinas, ranked 99th, had a 2-under 70.
Song eagled the 18th hole, hitting an approach from about 175 yards within a few feet of the hole. Johnson made four birdies in her final six holes.
The four-round tournament concludes Friday.