McGinty and Romero start fast at Patriot All-America


Caley McGinty (Courtesy Oklahoma State Athletics)

Oklahoma State’s Caley McGinity and Pepperdine’s Kaleiya Romero share the lead in the first round of the Patriot All-America Women’s Invitational to be held at the Wigwam Resort outside of Phoenix. On Wednesday, both golfers won 66-4-under rounds on the Wigwam Blue Course and hold a one-stroke lead over TCU’s Sabrina Iqbal and Michigan State’s Valery Plata, who started with rounds of 65.

McGinty tallied four birdies for a nine of 31 and a round of 66 while Romero birdied four in a bogey-less lap to keep pace with Great Britain and Ireland squad member Curtis Cup.

McGinty and Romero have both had their share of success this season.

McGinty, a junior from Oklahoma State, won the Schooner Fall Classic in Norman, Oklahoma in late September and claimed her second fall victory a few weeks later at the Jim West Challenge in San Marcos, Texas. Romero, a sophomore, won her first event of the season at the Dick McGuire Invitational in Albuquerque, NM, where she beat BYU’s Lila Galeai in the playoffs for her first college victory.

Plata, the player of the year in last year’s Big 10, who won the first Latin American Women’s Amateur Championship in November, and TCU’s Iqbal, who finished four times in the top 10 at the fall, have only one delay.

Five golfers are three back under 2 while five more sit under 1, including Jennie Park of Texas A&M, who made a wild run around Wigwam on Wednesday with eight birdies, four bogeys and a double. Four of his eight birdies came on the last five holes for a nine of 31 and a round of 69.

The Patriot All-America Invitational continues Thursday with the final round scheduled for New Year’s Eve.

The Patriot All-America honors fallen and seriously injured soldiers in partnership with the Folds of Honor Foundation. Golfers receive a golf bag donated by PING Corporation during the opening ceremony of the event, bearing the name and line of service of a fallen or injured member they represent. Participants also receive a card with the soldier’s history so that they can get acquainted with that soldier. The golf bags are then sold and the proceeds donated to Folds of Honor to support affected families.

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ABOUT Patriot All-America Women’s Invitational

The Wigwam and the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA), in partnership with the Folds of Honor Foundation, present the Patriot All-America Women’s Invitational. It is one of the most unique events in all of golf.

42 top collegiate players named to the PING All-America squad in NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA Divisions I, II and III, AJGA, one player from each military academy and selected international players compete in a 54-member championship holes.

Each player honors our soldiers by carrying a bag with the name, rank and service of a fallen or seriously injured soldier embroidered on the pocket. After the championship, the bags are auctioned off at the players’ school, the profits being donated to the Plis d’Honneur.

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