Provided by Texas Tech Athletics
AUSTIN — Texas Tech junior Stephanie Bertelsen sunk a 65-foot birdie on the 17th hole on her way to a 2-under par 70 to lead Texas Tech to a third place start in the first round of the Big 12 Championship on Friday at UT Golf Club.
Bertelsen's huge birdie on No. 17 was one of two birdies on the final two holes to help Tech (295) secure a t two-stroke advantage over Texas, Kansas and Baylor who are tied for fourth at nine-over par.
Junior Elin Arvidsson birdied 17 and then got up and down on the 18th hole in the final group to shoot even par and keep Tech near the top of the leaderboard.
The Lady Raiders trail second place Kansas State by two strokes and leader Oklahoma by four heading into Saturday's second round.
"It's kind of nice to have the first day out of the way," head coach JoJo Robertson said. "To just be right there in the mix – you can't win a tournament on the first day but you can hurt yourself if you're too far out."
Senior Hannah Arnold, redshirt freshman Victoria Uresti and sophomore Kimmy Hill found success early while Bertelsen and Arvidsson helped close the door on the final few holes.
Tech was in fifth place after the front nine at 6-over par and in desperate need of a strong showing on the back nine to stay in contention.
Suddenly everything came together as the team shot 1-over par the rest of the way to stay just two shots behind second-place Kansas State (293) and four behind leader Oklahoma (291).
"Seventeen and 18 are great finishing holes," Robertson said. "They're not the easiest holes out here and for our team to finish the way they did and make some pars – anything can happen out here the next two days on those last two holes and if we finish that way tomorrow then I think we'll separate ourselves even more."
Tech will play the second round on on Saturday alongside Kansas State and Oklahoma in the final groups beginning at 9:40 a.m. CT., and then finish the tournament on Sunday. Follow live stats at www.golfstat.com.