Strauss, Pressell both shoot 74 as Texas takes nine-stroke lead

Stefan Scrafield

Texas kicked off the “Mo” Morial Invitational on Sunday with an 11-over-par 299, good for second place, three strokes back of the Auburn Tigers’ opening round 296.

The highlight of the morning was South African freshman Bertine Strauss  scoring a 5-over-par 77 in her college debut.

Strauss’ 77 was good enough to put her in a tie for 16th in the individual scoring after day one.

Nicole Vandermade’s 1-under 71 led the team on Sunday while Haley Stephens scored a 74, Katelyn Sepmoree earned a 77 and Madison Pressel carded a 78.

The Longhorns wasted no time erasing Sunday’s 3-stroke deficit on Monday morning. Led by junior Haley Stephens’ 2-under-par 70, tied for the tournament low, Texas was able to take over first place in the team’s opening tournament of the season at Traditions Golf Club in Bryan, Texas.

To go with Stephens’ great day, Vandermade shot a par 72 to put herself in a three-way tie for first in the tournament at 1-under after two rounds.

Strauss and Pressel shot matching scores at 2-over 74 to put them at 7-over and 8-over, respectively, on the tournament. Sepmoree finished the day with a 10-over 82, putting her at 15-over-par for the week.

The Longhorn’s team score of 290 on the day, combined with Auburn’s 14-over par 302, gives Texas a nine stroke lead heading into Tuesday’s final day of play.