Salukis hold 17-stroke lead after Day One of UMKC Fall Invitational

    Senior Cassie Rushing shot a second-round 68, which is tied for the second-best round in Saluki history.

    Senior Cassie Rushing shot a second-round 68, which is tied for the second-best round in Saluki history.
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    Sept. 30, 2013

    Day One Results Get Acrobat Reader | Live Scoring

    By Tyler Wooten

    KANSAS CITY -- Saluki women's golf got out to a dominating start at the UMKC Fall Invitational, where it holds a 17-stroke lead over second-place Bradley after Day One on Monday.

    The Salukis shot a strong first-round score of 308 but followed it up with a round for the SIU record books. Southern shot a second-round 291, the third-best single-round team score in Saluki women's golf history. SIU's Day One total of 599 is also the third-best 36-hole team score in Saluki history. Individually, all five of Southern's competitors rank within the top-26 and three rank within the top-five.

    Southern was led by senior Cassie Rushing, who shot a two-round total of 144 due in part to a magnificent second-round 68 -- which, is tied for the second-best round in Saluki history. In that second round, Rushing scored four birdies and a ninth-hole eagle.

    Rushing's two-round total of 144 -- the second-best 36-hole score in Saluki history -- puts her at even par and tied for first overall individually.

    "I've been waiting over two seasons to see Cassie post a sub-70 round in tournament play," said head coach Alexis Mihelich. "She finally did it today. She made the short putts for pars and holed some great birdies."

    Rushing is not alone at the top of the leader board, as junior Kris Grimes also had a strong showing at Day One and currently sits at third overall. Grimes' two-round total of 148 (+4) was helped in large part to an impressive first round 73 that included five first-round birdies and three consecutive birdies to start the round at four-under par.

    "Kris was on fire in the first round," Mihelich said. "She was hitting it long off the tee and hitting short wedges into most greens."

    Right behind Grimes is freshman Xianmei Jin, who shot a 78 and an even 72 to put her at 150 (+6), which ties her for fourth overall.

    "It's great to see Xianmei shoot even par," Mihelich said. "She was clutch down the stretch and wasn't phased by being level par."

    Southern's final two competitors began the day with SIU's only rounds in the 80s on the day, but followed it up with strong rounds in the 70s to close out Day One.

    Tied for 20th overall is senior Ashleigh Rushing, who followed up a first-round 82 with a solid 76 for a two-round total of 158 (+14). Freshman Brooke Cusumano shot an 81 and a 79 for a total of 160 (+16), which ties her for 26th overall.

    Sophomore Mattie Lindner is competing as an individual and currently sits tied for 20th after firing a 77 and 81 (158, +14) on Day One.

    The UMKC Fall Invitational will conclude with the third and final round on Tuesday.

    Individual Scores:
    1. Cassie Rushing: 76-68 (144)
    3. Kris Grimes: 73-75 (148)
    t-4. Xianmei Jin: 78-72 (150)
    t-20. Ashleigh Rushing: 82-76 (158)
    t-20. Mattie Lindner: 77-81 (158)
    t-26. Brooke Cusumano: 81-79 (160)

    Italics designate individual competitor.

    Team Scores:
    1. Southern Illinois: 308-291 (599)
    2. Bradley: 299-317 (616)
    3. Northern Illinois: 308-311 (619)
    4. UMKC: 307-315 (622)
    5. Drake: 317-313 (630)
    6. SDSU: 323-314 (637)
    7. Omaha: 330-315 (645)
    8. Bakersfield: 343-331 (674)
    9. William Jewell: 349-345 (694)