Nelson in top half of leaderboard at Hawai'i's Donnis Thompson
By JORDAN FREEMYER
KANE'OHE, Hawai'i -- The Northerrn Colorado women's golf team sat in a tie late Tuesday night for 12th after the first day and two rounds of the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational at the Kane'ohe Klipper Golf Course in Kane'ohe, O'ahu.
The Bears' team score of 644 (+68) has them in a tie with Hawaii-Hilo and puts them just ahead of Montana State, the only other Big Sky Conference team in the 14-team field, which includes two of the top 25 teams in the nation in Texas A&M and UC Davis.
"This is a really strong field, so we're not really concerned with where we sit on the leaderboard," Northern Colorado coach Brandon White said. "[We're] more focused on where we're at as a team, and making sure we're getting better and making sure we improve on the things we need to improve on."
The two rounds Tuesday were played through intermittent rain and consistent wind, and White said he thought the team did a good job battling the weather.
"They did a good job of grinding through the wind and the long day of 36 holes," White said.
Senior Ali Nelson paced the Bears, shooting a pair of 6-over-par 78s to put herself in a tie for 34th with a score of 156 (+12). Those two rounds tie Nelson's best score during the 2011-12 season after she also shot 78 in the final round of the Wyoming Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate in October.
"That's encouraging to see her shoot some better scores," White said. "She did a good job of battling out a good round."
Junior Carleigh Silvers is just two shots behind Nelson with a score of 158 (+14) after carding a 7-over 79 in each of her first two rounds. She ended Tuesday's rounds tied for 45th in the field of 82.
Senior Chelsea Silvers matched her sister's second-round 79 after shooting an 84 (+12) earlier in the day. Her two-round score of 163 has her in a tie for 65th.
"[Carleigh] has been a consistent base for us this year and is continuing to do that," White said.
The event's third and final round kicked off with a shotgun start around noon MT Wednesday.