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    SEC Golf Today: May 11

    Alabama Women’s Golf Remains in Second at NCAA East Regional

    STATE COLLEGE, Pa.  – The University of Alabama women’s golf team battled windy conditions for the second straight round and remain in second place at the NCAA East Regional on Friday at the 6,253-yard, par-72 Penn State Blue Course.

    “The wind was a little worse than yesterday and our score wasn’t what I had hoped for,” Alabama head coach Mic Potter said. “I thought we had a good round in us today, but we had to count a 79, which I don’t usually anticipate out of our team.

    “We had a lot of birdie opportunities that we didn’t convert, and if we could have the round would have looked a lot different. We just have to continue to improve and continue to eliminate mistakes.” 

    The top-seeded Crimson Tide shot 9-over-par 297 in the second round for a 13-over total of 589. South Carolina leads the NCAA East Regional with a 36-hole total of 6-over par 582 after shooting a 294 on Friday. Florida also held on to its third-place position at 15-over 591.

    The top eight finishers at the NCAA East Regional will advance to the NCAA Championships at the Vanderbilt Legends Club on May 22-25 in Franklin, Tenn. After the three SEC teams, Texas A&M (592) is fourth and Duke (595) is fifth while Texas (596), Arizona (598) and Washington (599) round out the top eight after two rounds of play.

    The second-ranked Crimson Tide was led by senior Brooke Pancake and sophomore Stephanie Meadow, who both carded even-par 72s in Friday’s second round. Meadow recorded three birdies and three bogeys on her round and enters Saturday’s final round in a tie for 10th place at 2-over 146.

    Pancake, a native of Chattanooga, Tenn., had three birdies and three bogeys on her opening nine holes before settling down and making nine straight pars to conclude her round. She is 3-over 147 and tied for 13th.

    Junior Jennifer Kirby shot 74 in round two and is tied for sixth at 1-over 145. Kirby played 1-under par over her final 17 holes Friday after making a triple-bogey seven on her first hole of the day.

    Sophomore Hannah Collier and freshman Johanna Tillström both carded 7-over-par 79s in round two, which counted toward the Tide team total. Collier is tied for 47th individually at 7-over 151 while Tillström is tied for 96th at 158.

    Alabama will tee off No. 1 at 7:36 a.m. for Saturday’s final round of the NCAA East Regional at the Penn State Blue Course. The Crimson Tide will be paired with South Carolina and Florida.



    Gamecocks Remain in Lead Through Two Rounds at NCAA East Regional

    STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — The South Carolina women’s golf team posted a second-round 294 (+6) on Friday at the Penn State Golf Course to move one step closer to claiming its second NCAA East Regional title in three years.

    The 25th-ranked Gamecocks have played steady golf for both rounds to build a seven-shot lead heading into the final day with a two-round total of 582 (+6). SEC foes Alabama and Florida are in second and third, respectively, with scores of 589 (+13) and 591 (+15). The top eight teams will advance to the NCAA Championship, and South Carolina has a 17-stroke cushion to secure one of those spots.

    “We played solid golf today,” South Carolina head coach Kalen Harris said. “It was a lot windier out than (Thursday). We held our position, and I’m pleased with our finish today. Building a cushion (to advance) is nice, but we’ve still got to get the job done tomorrow, watch that last putt fall and sign the scorecard. We have to stay mentally tough and stay patient and most of all stay committed on every shot that we hit.”

    Along with playing for a regional title on Saturday, Carolina also has a pair of individuals in the hunt for medalist honors. Senior Katie Burnett led the charge on Friday with a 1-under 71, while freshman Justine Dreher carded a 1-over 73, as both finished the day in a tie for second with two-round scores of 143 (-1). They are three shots behind Texas A&M’s Katerina Ruzickova (140).

    Burnett, whose last tournament win was the 2010 NCAA East Regional, was one of only 10 golfers to shoot under par on the day. She began to pick up steam down the stretch on the front nine as she made back-to-back birdies on holes 14 and 15. After a wayward drive on No. 16 resulted in a double bogey, the Brunswick, Ga., native bounced back with a chip-in birdie from the rough on the par-3 17th and a birdie at 18 to make the turn at 1-under. Burnett recorded two more birdies, two bogeys and five pars an even-par 36 on the back nine.

    Dreher shook off a rough start to piece together a solid round for the second straight day. After making bogeys at holes 11 and 13 to begin the round, she settled down to finish the afternoon without another blemish on her scorecard. Dreher sank a birdie putt on the par-4 seventh and made par on her final two holes to head into the clubhouse at 1-over and in position to play for her first career win. Her career-best finish was a tie for 12th showing at the SEC Championship.

    Juniors Amanda Strang and Meredith Swanson each shot a 3-over 75 for the Gamecocks. Strang, who is tied for 24th with a score of 148 (+4), recorded three birdies, six bogeys and nine pars for the day. She made a pair of birdies on the back nine, including a birdie putt from about 25 feet on the par-4 seventh. Swanson bounced back from Thursday’s 78 to move into a tie for 63rd with a total of 153 (+9). She overcame a bogey and a double bogey on the front side by recording three birdies to make the turn at even par. Swanson closed out the back nine with six pars and three bogeys.

    Sophomore Suzie Lee is in a tie for 84th after turning in an 83 (+11) on Friday.

    With the SEC holding on to the top three spots on the leaderboard, Texas A&M is in fourth with a score of 592 (+16), followed by Duke (595), Texas (596), Arizona (598) and Washington (599).

    The Gamecocks are slated to begin Saturday’s final round at 8:36 a.m. on hole No. 1. Carolina will be paired with Alabama and Florida. Live scoring will be available at golfstatresults.com.



    Razorbacks look to move up in final round
     
    COLUMBUS, Ohio – The University of Arkansas women’s golf team entered play Friday with moving on their minds but steady play by all 24 teams in the 2012 NCAA Central Regional in Columbus, Ohio, made that task difficult in second round action.
               
    Arkansas, ranked No. 34 in the most recent Golfstat.com poll, shaved two strokes off its first round score posting a 308, slightly better than the first round 310 for a 618 and sole possession of 12th place.  The Razorbacks are just outside one of the coveted top eight positions with those teams moving on to the NCAA Championship in Nashville, Tenn., at the end of May.
               
    Although outside the cut at the end of the day Friday, Arkansas is very much within striking distance of advancing.  The Razorbacks are just six strokes back of No. 16 and host Ohio State who is in the clubhouse at 612.  In addition, just 10 strokes separate No. 21 Oregon and No. 33 Purdue in fourth place from the Razorbacks in 12th in the bunched up field.
               
    “We had some moments of some great golf out there,” said Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor.  “We let a few opportunities slide away coming down the stretch but we are in a position to strike.  This is a great golf course to make up some strokes and we have the ability to do that.
               
    “We have two rounds in on this golf course and the team is smarter and more prepared to make a move,” Estes-Taylor said.
               
    Sophomore Emily Tubert remains the Razorbacks’ individual leader with a two-round 150 to tie for 13th.  Tubert posted back-to-back 75s with a pair of scorecards that include three birdies and nine bogeys over two days.
               
    Sophomore Emma Lavy matched Tubert Friday also posting a 75 in the dry and warm conditions.  Lavy is tied for 21st with 152.
               
    Junior Victoria Vela posted an 81 Friday and is in the clubhouse with a 160 and a tie for 73rd overall.  Sophomore Emily Podzielinski carded an 82 Friday for 161 and is tied for 83rd.  Freshman Hally Leadbetter rallied from a tough opening round counting a 77 Friday for a 166 and a tie for 109th overall.
               
    Third-ranked Southern California leads the field with a 588.  The other teams inside the top eight include No. 10 Vanderbilt with 600, No. 27 Virginia with 604, No. 21 Oregon and No. 33 Purdue with 608, No. 4 Auburn in sixth with 610, No. 22 North Carolina State with 611 and No. 16 Ohio State with 612.
               
    Teams within striking distance include No. 14 Tennessee in ninth place with 614, followed by No. 28 Florida State with 615, No. 9 Georgia with 617 and No. 34 Arkansas with 618.
               
    The Razorbacks hold a six stroke lead over No. 49 Notre Dame in 13th place with 624.  Ole Miss is in 14th with 626, followed by Michigan with 631, Harvard with 632, No. 46 South Florida with 634, No. 45 Texas State and No. 41 Kentucky with 635, East Carolina with 639, UTSA with 643, UNC-Wilmington with 645, Siena College with 654 and Butler with 655.


     

    Kentucky Improves on Day Two of Central Regional
     
    LEXINGTON, Ky. – Sparked by a nine-stroke improvement on day two, the University of Kentucky women’s golf team jumped three spots, finishing day two of the Central Regional of the NCAA Championship in a tie for 18th. The Wildcats shot a 25-over-par 313 on the second day of competition in Columbus, Ohio to enter the final round at 59-over-par 635.

    Southern Cal remains atop the leaderboard, increasing their lead by 11 strokes with a 2-over-par 290 on day two. The Trojans enter the final round of the Central Regional with a 12-stroke lead, sitting at 12-over-par 588. With a 4-over-par 292, Vanderbilt jumped six spots into second at 24-over-par 600. Virginia jumped five spots, sitting in third at 28-over-par 604 following an 8-over-par 296 on Friday while Purdue and Oregon enter the final round in a tie for fourth at 32-over-par 608.

    Lisa McCloskey of Southern Cal jumped seven spots to claim the No. 1 individual spot after shooting a 4-under-par 68 on Friday. McCloskey’s five birdies leave her at 3-under-par 141 on the tournament. Vanderbilt’s Marina Alex dropped one spot to sit in a three-way tie for second with teammate Lauren Stratton and Maria Salinas of Florida State at 1-under-par 143.
     
    Junior Betsie Johnson improved on her first round score by four strokes, shooting a 6-over-par 78. Johnson’s three birdies were a tie for a team high, entering the final round in a tie for 73rd at 16-over-par 160. Senior Ashlee Rose also showed improvement, sinking three birdies to finish the day at 6-over-par 78. Rose moved up 15 spots into a tie for 92nd. 

    Junior Heather Lott finished her second round of play with a 6-over-par 78, entering the final round of play in a tie for 56th at 13-over-par 157. Junior Ashleigh Albrecht improved seven strokes from day one, sinking one birdie to finish the day at 7-over-par 79. Albrecht moved into a tie for 106th at 21-over-par 165. Sophomore Liz Breed shot an 11-over-par 83 on Friday, entering the final round of play in a tie for 73rd at 16-over-par 160.

    The final round of the Central Regional will begin Saturday morning with Kentucky teeing off from the first tee box at 1:25 p.m. in 11 minute intervals. Albrecht will lead off for the Wildcats, followed by Rose, Breed, Johnson and Lott at 2:09 p.m. All times are Eastern.


     

    Bulldogs Slip To 11th At Central Regional

    COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 9-ranked Georgia women's golf team shot 318 in Friday's second round of the NCAA Central Regional at Ohio State University's Scarlet Course and fell from second to 11th on the team leaderboard in the process.

    The Bulldogs enter Saturday's final round five shots behind No. 16 Ohio State, which occupies the the all-important eighth place position in the team field. The top eight teams will advance to the NCAA Championships on May 22-25 at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn.

    "We had a very tough round today," head coach Kelley Hester said. "We'll just have to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and play better tomorrow. I believe in this team. We had a bad day. Bad days happen. It's unfortunate that it happened today. If we play the way we're capable of playing, I'm confidant we can climb right back up the leaderboard tomorrow."

    The Bulldogs' counting rounds on Friday were a 75 from Rocio Sanchez Lobato, a 79 from Emilie Burger, an 81 from Milena Savich and an 83, the score posted by both Amelia Hill and Marta Silva Zamora.

    "Yesterday, we played very well under difficult conditions," Hester said. "Today, the conditions were perfect but the pin placements were very challenging. But they were the same for everyone."

    While the Bulldogs are 11th, they are only nine strokes from fourth.

    No. 3 Southern Cal remained atop the team leaderboard. The Women of Troy are at 588, a dozen shots better than No. 10 Vanderbilt. Rounding out the top 12 teams that will compete in the morning wave on Saturday are Virginia at 604; Purdue and No. 21 Oregon at 608; No. 4 Auburn at 610, No. 22 N.C. State at 611; No. 16 Ohio State at 612; No. 14 Tennessee at 614; Florida State at 615; the Bulldogs at 617; and Arkansas at 618.

    Southern Cal's Lisa McCloskey shot 68 and moved atop the individual field by two strokes. She is at 3-under 141 and leads the trio of Vanderbilt's Marina Alex and Lauren Stratton and Florida State's Marina Alex in second.

    For Georgia, Sanchez Lobato is tied for ninth at 148, Burger is tied for 39th at 154, Silva Zamora is tied for 56th at 157, Savich is tied for 61st at 158 and Hill is tied for 121st at 173.

    The Bulldogs will be paired with Florida State and Arkansas for Saturday's final round. Those squads will tee off beginning at 8 a.m. from No. 10. Live scoring will be available on the internet at golfstat.com.



    Lady Vols in Ninth After 36 Holes at Central Regional

    COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Tennessee Lady Vol golf team carded a 20-over-par 308 team score, good for ninth place, during round two of the 2012 NCAA Central Regional on Friday at the Scarlet Course of The Ohio State University Golf Club.

    The Lady Vols have a 306-308=614 (+38) 36-hole total heading into the tournament’s final day and are on the outside looking in heading into round three as the top eight teams will advance to the NCAA Championship tournament.

    “We are struggling out there,” head coach Judi Pavon said. “We are making way too many errors. Our team isn’t looking like they’re hitting that bad of shots, but we are not taking advantage and we are compounding errors out there. It is not hopeless because they are not playing that badly, we are not just scoring at all.”
     
    Senior Nathalie Mansson led the Tennessee effort in the second round, putting up a four-over 76 score. The Stockholm, Sweden, product recorded only one birdie, but shot par on 13 holes to turn in the Lady Vols’ strongest round.

    Freshman AJ Newell and sophomore Chessey Thomas each carded 5-over 77s on the par-72, 6,264-yard course.

    Thomas sits in a tie for 15th place with a 74-77=151 tally as Newell sits one stroke behind with a 75-77=152 score, good for a tie for 21st.

    Rounding out the Lady Vol performers were Erica Popson (67) Sara Monberg (83). The pair struggled on the front nine, but played stronger after the turn. Popson is tied for 67th, while Monberg is in a deadlock at 73rd.

    No. 3 Southern Cal sits atop the leader board at 12-over 588 with No. 10 Vanderbilt (600) and No. 27 Virginia (604) in second and third, respectively.

    USC’s Lisa McCloskey fired a 4-under 68 to take a three-shot lead in the individual medalist race with a 141 (-3) two-day score.
     
    UT will tee off from No. 1 at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday in a group with North Carolina State and The Ohio State University.

    “We have got to have everyone be more competitive tomorrow.” Pavon added. “We are letting too many shots slip away. We have to have someone shoot even par for us tomorrow. Our goal is to break 300 which I know will do the trick out there, but we have to have all five of them in the game.”