'Cats Off to Strong Start in Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii The Kansas State women’s golf team sits in fourth place after the first day of the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational at Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course. The Wildcats, building off last week’s solid performance, are currently carding a 17-over 305 through round one.


Idaho had a strong start to its tournament, claiming the top spot by six strokes and shooting a 297. Nevada and Osaka Gakuin are in a tie for second place with both teams shooting a 15-over 303.


Idaho’s Kayla Mortellaro is a big reason her team is in first place after day one, topping the leader board at 69 (-3). Laruen Johnson of Texas A&M and Melanie DeLeon of Nevada are currently tied for second place, two strokes back from the leader at 1-over par.


Junior Abbi Sunner is off to another great start early on and is tied with Nanae Shinzato of Osaka for fourth place. Sunner is carding an even round of 72 and sits only one stroke out of second place.


“I was really pleased with Abbi today,” head coach Kristi Knight said. “Abbi played a lot of good golf today. She made one mistake, but I was proud of the way she came back after it. She didn’t let it linger and she didn’t let it affect the rest of her day.”


Freshman Ami Storey, who is coming off her best collegiate performance, is currently tied for seventh place, shooting a 2-over 74. If Sunner and Storey are able to keep pace, it will be the first time this year that K-State has placed two individuals in the top 10.


“Ami was pretty solid,” Knight said. “She had some difficulty putting on her first two holes, but she improved as the day went on and finished with a birdie on her last hole, so that was a pretty solid round.”


Other K-State players include Morgan Moon at 7-over par, Emily Houtz at 8-over and Paige Osterloo at 8-over.


“I feel like tomorrow the girls will be a little bit more comfortable,” Knight said. “I feel like they can go out and have a better day tomorrow. Hopefully they can continue their strong play and the other girls can shave a few strokes off their total and help them out a little bit.”


The Wildcats will resume action tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time and conclude the tournament on Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. Results from round two will be posted on www.kstatesports.com as soon as they become available.


Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational

Honolulu, Hawaii

Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course

Par 72/ 5,907 Yards


Team Scores:  1. Idaho, 297 (+9); T2. Nevada, 303 (+15); T2. Osaka Gakuin, 303 (+15); 4. K-State, 305 (+17); T5. Boise State, 306 (+18); T5. Hawaii, 306 (+18); T5. Texas A&M, 306 (+18); 8. Indiana, 309 (+21); 9. UTEP, 315 (+27); 10. Nagoya, 319 (+31); 11. Northern Colorado, 335 (+47); 12. Lipscomb, 338 (+50).


Top Individuals: 1. Kayla Mortellaro, Idaho, 69 (-3); T2. Lauren Johnson, Texas A&M, 71 (-1); T2. Melanie DeLeon, Nevada, 71 (-1); T4. Abbi Sunner, K-State, 72 (E); T4. Nanae Shinzato, Osaka, 72 (E).


K-State Individuals: T4. Abbi Sunner, 72 (E); T7. Ami Storey, 74 (+2); T27 Morgan Moon, 79 (+7); T36. Emily Houtz, 80 (+8); T36. Paige Osterloo 80 (+8).