Arizona State's Olivia Mehaffey made six birdies — including five in an outward 31 — in a five-under 66 to claim the first round lead in the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate on Hilton Head Island.
The Banbridge native (20), winner of her maiden title on the US collegiate circuit less than three weeks ago, leads by a stroke from LSU's Claudia De Antonio with Duke's Leona Maguire tied for 15th after a one-over 72, Auburn's Julie McCarthy 42nd after a 75 and Lisa Maguire 53rd after a 76.
After birdies at the first, third, sixth, eighth and ninth, Mehaffey bogeyed the 11th but finished with a birdie to help the reigning NCAA champions lead the team standings by a shot from Northwestern on two-over at Long Cove Club.
"As a team, we are still right in the race for first place and we did a lot of things well today," head coach Missy Farr-Kaye told the ASU website, SunDevils.com.
"Tomorrow, the goal is to win the day and move up the leaderboard, which I believe we can accomplish. Olivia played one of the best rounds of golf I have watched her play in her college career so far."