Shean in the lead out West

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BOULDER CITY, Nev. – University of Arkansas senior Kelli Shean came off the golf course tied for first place after first round action at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown in Boulder City, Nev., Monday.

Shean fired a career-low five-under 67 on the par 72 Boulder City Golf Course helping the Razorbacks to eighth place overall in the final tournament of the fall season. The Razorbacks are just eight strokes out of the lead after the first round.

"It was better today," Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said. "We worked hard all week on our mental training and imagery. We did a lot of visualization and talked about believing we could win. That hard work paid off today.

"Kelli played an amazing round of golf," Estes-Taylor continued. "She birdied two of her last three holes and was just solid all day."

Arkansas opened with a plus-three 291 trailing leader No. 19 Louisville who leads with 283 in the 18-team field.

Senior Kristin Ingram was even on the day with a 72. Ingram played the front one-over but got it back with a one-under on the back nine.

Senior Alex Schulte carded a plus-two 74 thanks, in part, to an eagle on the par five 13th hole. Sophomore Katy Nugent added a six-over 78 and junior Corinna Rees scored a seven-over 79 in the first round.

"We really focused on putting ourselves in contention to win the tournament and we did a good job with that today," Estes-Taylor said. "We’re just a couple back from the lead and I think this course sets up well for us so I think we can make a move. We played in the best weather we’ve had all year. It was 70 degrees and sunny but the temperatures are supposed to drop and its going to be windy in the next two rounds. That’s OK though. We’re used to that."

The scores were tight at the top of the leaderboard with No. 29 Kent State holding the lead with a 285 until Louisville edged them late for the top spot. The shuffle at the top continued with No. 17 Arizona and No. 36 UC Davis finishing the day tied for second with 284, followed by Kent State in fourth with 285.

Number 23 Washington is fifth with 287 while Colorado State ended the day in sixth with 288, followed by No. 15 Florida with 289 in seventh place.

Arkansas is in sole possession of eighth with 291 followed by No. 46 Idaho and No. 38 TCU in 10th with 293. The rest of the field includes a tie for 12th between No. 40 UNLV and No. 47 Missouri with 296, No. 39 Northwestern and Minnesota are tied for 14th with 299, No. 34 Texas Tech is 16h with 300, BYU is 17th with 303 and No. 40 UNLV B is 18th with 306.

Play is schedule to conclude Wednesday.