ST. CHARLES, Mo. — Fort Hays State junior golfer Hannah Perkins sits in a tie for fifth place after round one of the 2018 NCAA Division II Central Region Championship, hosted by Lindenwood University at the Missouri Bluffs Golf Course on Monday. Perkins fired an opening round 72 (even-par) to sit two shots back of the leaders.

"I was hitting the ball really solid today. I hit 15 greens [in regulation] and made a couple of up-and-downs that were key to my round," said Perkins. "These greens are so big that hitting the ball on the correct side of the greens is very important."

Perkins recorded 16 pars in the opening round, the most in the 66-player field. After opening the day with nine-straight pars, the Wichita native picked up a birdie on the 372-yard, par-4 10th hole, before giving back a stroke on the 332-yard, par-4 11th hole. Perkins finished the round with seven-straight pars.

"She was just hitting the ball good today," Tigers coach head coach Rich Guffey said. "I thought the course was set up about as easy as we have seen it. It was very playable."

"Overall I am very happy with how the day went," Perkins said. "I think it will be interesting to see where they put the pin placements the next two days."

Elin Wahlin (Southwestern Oklahoma State) and Josefina Haupt (Lindenwood) are tied for the lead after shooting 70 (2-under) in the first round.

Perkins was tentatively set to tee off at 10:40 a.m. in round two Tuesday morning.

"I am happy with where I set myself up after today's opening round," said Perkins.

"[Hannah] just needs to keep doing what she is doing," said Guffey.