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Picard guides Vaqueros to top of South Coast Classic

Danielle Picard carded a career-best 76 in her first college round, leading SBCC to first place after one round of the South Coast Classic. (Photo by Dave Loveton)
Danielle Picard carded a career-best 76 in her first college round, leading SBCC to first place after one round of the South Coast Classic. (Photo by Dave Loveton)

Danielle Picard fired a career-best 76 in her first women's collegiate golf tournament on Sunday, leading SBCC to the No. 1 spot in the season-opening South Coast Classic at Olivas Links in Ventura.

Picard, a freshman from Boulder, Colo., was the No. 5 player in SBCC's six-player lineup and now she's tied for third in the 36-hole tourney. Carolin Chang and Isabella Doub, a freshman from Santa Barbara High, are tied for ninth after shooting 78.

Jamie Lopez of Citrus was the medalist with an even-par 72 that featured a hole-in-one.

The Vaqueros totaled 312 strokes for an average of 78. They lead second-place Sierra by 16 shots and third-place Citrus by 17.

Vanesa Villa, the only sophomore on SBCC's roster, shot 80 and Miraya Ramirez had an 81. They're both from Dos Pueblos High. Villa was a key member of the Vaqueros' 2013 state championship squad.

"We have a great deal of ability and it's great to get off to a good start like this," said SBCC coach Chuck Melendez, the tournament director. "That was impressive for Danielle to shoot her best round ever in her first college start."

The final round of the South Coast Classic will be played Monday at Buenaventura GC, starting at 8:30 a.m. The first WSC tournament will also be held.

South Coast Classic
First round
At par-72 Olivas Links, Ventura

 Team – 1, SBCC 312. 2, Sierra 328. 3, Citrus 329. 4, Desert 330. 5 (tie), Canyons, Mt. SAC 340. 7, Irvine Valley 347. 8, Modesto 349. 9, Palomar 356. No score: Bakersfield, American River.
 Medalist – 1, Jamie Lopez, Citrus, 72.
 SBCC scores – 3 (tie), Danielle Picard 76, 9 (tie), Carolin Chang, Isabella Doub 78, Vanessa Villa 80, Miraya Ramirez 81, Natalya Cruz 85.