STANFORD, Calif. - Beverly Vatananugulkit jumped to 1 under after nine holes and finished with a 70, while teammate Betty Chen was 2 under early en route to a 71, as the pair led the 10th-place UC Davis women's golf team in Friday's first round of the Stanford Intercollegiate.
Vatananugulkit is tied for 11th at 1 under while Chen, who captured last weekend's Hoosier Invitational at Indiana, is tied for 16th. Freshman Paige Lee had a 73 and is tied for 35th, Andrea Wong had a 79 and is tied for 76th, and Jessica Chulya shot 81 and is tied for 82nd.
The 38th-ranked Aggies fired a collective 9-over 293 in the first round as they try to keep pace with a 16-team field loaded with many of the country's top programs. Second-ranked USC is 8 under and opened an early six-shot lead over No. 19 Washington while ninth-ranked Stanford and No. 33 Oregon are 1 under and tied for third.
In all, there are three top-10 teams competing in the 54-hole tournament and 13 ranked in the top 50.
Vatananugulkit bogeyed her first hole - the par-4 10th - but then rattled off three birdies over the next eight holes to help her move a shot under par at her turn. She birdied the par-5 first hole and played that side of the course even as she came in with a 70.
Chen was also strong on the back nine of the Stanford Golf Course, rallying from a bogey on her first hole to pick up birdies on the 13th, 15th and 17th holes to go to 2 under. She was 2 over on her last nine holes.
Lee was 2 over after her front nine but then had back-to-back birdies on a pair of par-3 holes - the third and the fourth - to help bring her back closer to even. She finished with a 73.
Wong had a birdie on the par-4 second and was just 2 over on her last nine holes while Chulya had an early birdie in her round to help highlight her day.
Sophia Popov of USC shot a 5-under 66 and has a two-shot advantage over Stanford's Mariah Stackhouse and Charlotte Thomas of Washington.
UC Davis will begin second-round play at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday and will be joined by Auburn and San Jose State.