MONTGOMERY -- After the opening day of the Southland Conference Women's Golf Championships, the Sam Houston State women sit in third place after 18 holes of play at Woodforest Golf Club.

The Kats got off to slow start, getting 10 strokes over par after just 6 holes and were sitting in fifth place in the early going. Midway through the round they started picking things up, and played the remaining 12 holes at 11-over par.

"It was a bit rough in early going but I though from 7 to 12 we started playing better," said head coach Brandt Kieschnick. "The winds started picking up down the stretch, and we gave a few shots back."

Tori Gatling settled in on the back 9, and put together the best finish of the day for the Bearkats. She birdied the 11th and the 15th and played the final nine holes at 1-under par. She currently stands in seventh place at 4-over par.

"She hit is really straight, she's not going to be in trouble," Kieschnick said. "She had good lines and made a few putts. She is just a little grinder."

Jenna Phillips is one shot back at 5-over par and sits in 13th. Hannah Alberto and Gianti Mahardhika are tied for 14th at 6-over and Kari Bush is in 28th at 9-over par. 

Round 2 continues Tuesday morning and the final round of the 54-hole event will be on Wednesday.