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Stella Cheng put this tee shot on No. 10 within five feet, for one of her five birdies.
Stella Cheng put this tee shot on No. 10 within five feet, for one of her five birdies.

Stella Cheng (67), Athenas (-5), Score Low Rounds in Program History on First Day of Claremont Challenge

GolfStat Scoring

SAN DIMAS, Calif. - Stella Cheng shot a 67, the lowest round in CMS women's golf history, and Esther Lee added a 68 to lead the CMS women's golf team to the best 18-hole team score the program has ever had (-5) on the first day of the Claremont Challenge at San Dimas Canyon Golf Course.

The best round in program history had been a 68 carded by Mira Yoo at Los Serranos, but Cheng was able to come in one shot better with a bogey-free round, carding five birdies on her way to a 67. Esther Lee also played bogey-free golf in matching Yoo's 68. 

CMS had never previously come in under par as a team before, making the -5 an easy program standard. The score puts the Athenas in first place, eight shots ahead of Menlo, and 15 shots ahead of Redlands, which came into the weekend tied for the No. 1 ranked team in Division III (along with Emory). 

The low rounds for Cheng and Lee weren't the product of friendly conditions or an easy course, as they are two of only four players (out of 40) under par after round one. Holly Obermuller of Menlo earned a -2, and Kendall Nicholson of Redlands came in at -1, with two other players at even par. 

Irene Jun of the Athenas finished with a 73, and Ella Chiu was the fourth scorer with a 75. Lucy Bloomstran, playing as an individual, also carded a 74 for the Athenas. Jeissy Lee and Chiu each had eagles on the par-5 17th, while Bloomstran nearly had one on No. 9, but her 15-footer teased the lip and stayed out. 

Cheng began her round with a birdie, and then added a birdie to start the back nine, when her tee shot on the 10th came within five feet of the pin. That dropped her to -2, and she added a birdie on 14 and another on 17 to get to -5. She had a 20-footer for birdie on 18 to try to get to -6, but it broke left of the cup and she settled for the par to set the school record. 

Esther Lee picked up two birdies on the front nine and two on the back nine, with three of them coming on par-5s and the last on a par-3 (the 16th). She was also on the green in two on the par-5 ninth, but settled for a par when her birdie putt lipped out. 

CMS will be back in action tomorrow for the second day of the Claremont Challenge, looking to build off Saturday's record-breaking performance and take the team title.