FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The Auburn women's golf team carded a 9-over 297 Saturday to take the lead at the Southeastern Conference Championship heading into Sunday's final round. The Tigers have a 27-over 603 for the tournament, just one stroke ahead of host Arkansas. Senior Patricia Sanz has sole possession of the individual lead, posting a 73 Saturday for a 2-under 142.
Conducted by the SEC and the University of Arkansas, the SEC Championship is a 54-hole stroke play tournament being played at the Blessings Golf Course. The tournament features eight teams ranked in the top 25 in the nation. The par-72 course is playing at 6,134 yards for the tournament.
The Tigers started the day in second, nine strokes behind first-round leader Alabama. The Tigers carded the second-lowest round of the day to move into the lead. Arkansas, who carded the lowest round with a 7-over 295, is in second behind Auburn while the Crimson Tide is in third, six strokes out of the lead.
"Today was a really fun day," said Evans. "This is a very challenging golf course and we did a good job of playing it one hole at a time. We are looking forward to getting back out here in the morning and finishing it up right."
It marks the second year in a row for Auburn to take the lead into the final round at the SEC Tournament. Auburn held a nine-stroke lead after 36 holes a year ago and held on for an 11-stroke win, the Tigers' eighth SEC title.
Sanz, who was tied for the lead after the first round, maintained her lead Saturday with a 1-over 73. She is at 2-under 142 for the tournament, one stroke ahead of Vanderbilt's Marina Alex. Sanz and Alex are the only two players in the field under par after 36 holes.
After a stead round the first day that featured 13 pars on the day, Sanz had to battle for her strokes Saturday, finishing with a double bogey, three bogeys and four birdies.
"Patti is playing some great golf right now," said Evans. "She is really doing a great job of staying focused and taking it a hole at a time. On a course as difficult as this one, you can't get ahead of yourself."
Also carding 1-over 73s on the day were junior Carlie Yadloczky and senior Haley Wilson. Yadloczky had a similar day to Sanz but was able to move up 10 places to a tie for sixth at 6-over 150, giving Auburn two in the top 10. Wilson moved up nearly 20 places in the standings with her 73, finishing the day tied for 37th with a 15-over 159.
Rounding out Auburn's lineup were freshman Victoria Trapani and sophomore Marta Sanz with 6-over 78s on the day. Trapani dropped four strokes on the front, but re-grouped to play the back at 2-over to finish the day in a tie for 22nd with an 11-over 155.
Marta Sanz had a rough start to the day, shooting 6-over at 10 holes. But, the sophomore played the final six holes at even-par to finish the day in a tie for 42nd with a 161.
In the team race, Auburn, Arkansas and Alabama hold the top spots while Florida (+36) is fourth and Georgia (+38) is fifth. LSU rounds out the top have of the standings in sixth with a 43-over 619.
Individually, Sanz and Alex hold the top two spots with Arkansas Emma Lavy and LSU's Madelene Sagstrom tied for third with 1-over 145s. Arkansas' Emily Tubert rounds out the top five in fifth with a 4-over 148.
The tournament will conclude Sunday with tee times beginning at 8 a.m. CT off the Nos. 1 and 12 tees. Auburn will go from 8:50 - 9:30 a.m. off No. 1, playing alongside Alabama and Arkansas.
Fans can follow all the action with live scoring at www.GolfStat.com. For more information on the SEC Tournament, go to www.ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Second-round results from the SEC Championship hosted by the University of Arkansas at the Blessings Golf Course. Par: 72. Yardage: 6,134.
1 - Auburn - 306-297--603 (+27)
2 - Arkansas - 309-295--604 (+28)
3 - Alabama - 297-312--609 (+33)
4 - Florida - 307-305--612 (+36)
5 - Georgia - 308-306--614 (+38)
6 - LSU - 310-309--619 (+43)
T7 - South Carolina - 315-309--624 (+48)
T7 - Kentucky - 317-307--624 (+48)
T7 - Ole Miss - 309-315--624 (+48)
10 - Vanderbilt - 318-307--625 (+49)
11 - Tennessee - 320-309--629 (+53)
12 - Mississippi State - 315-326--641 (+65)