Mary Parsons, an Indiana University sophomore from Delta, British Columbia, shot 3-under-par 69 Wednesday to lead the first round of the Women’s Porter Cup Tournament, which finished in the rain at the Niagara Falls Country Club.
As a collegian this spring, Parsons shot a 66 in the second round to win the 36-hole Lady Boilermaker Classic in West Lafayette, Ind. then tied for 11th in the Big Ten Women’s Championship the next week.
The 66 tied Parsons’ own Indiana record for lowest score in an 18-hole round.
Last year, Parsons tied for 20th in the Women’s Porter Cup with 11-over 227. In 2017, she was a member of the Team Canada National Development squad.
Parsons is one stroke in front of Briditte Thibault of Rosemere, Quebec, and Isabelle Taylor of Sanctuary Cove, Australia.
Two strokes back at 71 are Jackie Rogowicz of Yardley, Pa., Kory Nielsen of Kent, Ohio, and Sophia Trombetta of Independence,
Rogowicz just completed her senior season at Penn State.
Nielsen just completed her sophomore season at Kent State where her father is athletics director.
As a freshman, Trombetta golfed at Michigan this spring.
Noemie Pare of Victoriaville, Quebec, and Sarah Willis of Eaton, Ohio, are next at even-par 72. Anna Redding of Charlotte, N.C., who was third in 2018, and Emily Zhu of Richmond Hill, Ont., are at 73.
Zoe-Beth Brake of Whakatane, New Zealand, the first defending champion to return to the tournament, shot 2-over 74 in her first round, tied with three other golfers. Brake is one of only two golfers to compete in all seven editions of the tournament.
Low scores among Western New York golfers were turned in by Victoria Parker of Lewiston and Chelsea Dantonio from East Aurora. Each shot 4-over 76.
Parker is a Sacred Heart graduate and a former state All-Catholic champion.
Dantonio, who is a Lancaster graduate, was the No. 1 player at Winthrop College in South Carolina as a senior this spring.
Other WNY scores: Elena Lopez (Clarence) 80, Madison Butler (Medina) 81, Sydney Shaw (Orchard Park) 81, Sara Riso (Hamburg) 83, Madeline Catalano (Lewiston) 97 and Emily Kase (Pendleton)
The 54-hole tournament will continue with 18 more holes of medal play today starting at 8 a.m. The final 18-hole round will start at 8 a.m. on Friday. There will be no cut in the starting field of 72 golfers although one player has withdrawn.