Almeida four shots off the individual lead as Lewis & Clark starts in front at UCSC Invitational

Almeida four shots off the individual lead as Lewis & Clark starts in front at UCSC Invitational

PACIFIC GROVE, Calif. -- Sophomore Jane Almeida is four strokes off the lead as the Lewis & Clark Pioneers opened competition at the UCSC Invitational with the lead on Saturday.

No. 25 Lewis & Clark is on top of the team leaderboard by five strokes, as Almeida shot an opening-round 11-over-par 83 to sit four back of leader Jenna Jensen of Corban. Alissa Thompson of Menlo is in second place with an 80.

"It was great that the course was not wet, so there was roll off the tee," said Almeida of the conditions at the Pacific Grove Golf Links.

Four other Pios are in the top 10 individually, led by Arielle Valdez's 14-over-par 86, putting her in a tie for sixth.

Annie McCutchan, in a tie for eighth place, is one stroke ahead of teammates Claire Burke and Tori Eichten. McCutchan posted an 87, while Burke and Eichten each had an 88.

With four of Lewis & Clark's golfers from California, the Pioneers had tremendous support on Saturday.

"A lot of families came out," said Almeida, who is from El Dorado Hills, Calif., just over 200 miles from Pacific Grove. "Our senior Claire had 30 people out watching her today, so there was a lot of Pio Pride."

Menlo and Corban were the only other teams with multiple golfers in the top 10 during the opening round. The tournament closes out on Sunday.