Auburn, Pepperdine Lead Midway Through NCAA Golf Championships
May 18, 2005
SUNRIVER, Ore. - Auburn and Pepperdine, each seeking its first national title in women's golf, are tied for the lead after the second round of the 2005 NCAA Division I Championships on Wednesday at the Sunriver Resort's Meadows Course. Four players are tied for the individual lead.
Play continues at 9 a.m. Thursday on the par-71, 6,312-yard course, with the fourth and final round slated for Friday.
Round two began under heavy rainfall, which lasted for about two hours. While the rain stopped around 11 a.m., the wind picked up for the remainder of the day, with gusts of greater than 30 miles per hour. The wind chill led to very cold and difficult playing conditions. It began raining again at the very end of the day.
Four players are tied for the individual lead at two-over-par 144: Auburn senior Diana Ramage (73-71), UCLA senior Charlotte Mayorkas (71-73), Pepperdine sophomore Eileen Vargas (74-70) and Southern California freshman Dewi-Claire Schreefel (70-74).
The best rounds of the day (and the only rounds under par on Wednesday) were turned in by Pepperdine's Vargas and Ohio State sophomore Dana Je, who each shot a 1-under 70. Vargas was three-over-par after eight holes but birdied the ninth hole, and added three more birdies on the back nine. Je had two bogies on her first three holes, then birdied three straight holes during the middle of her round, and ended her round with birdies on two of the final three holes.
Auburn's Ramage (three birdies and three bogies) and Vanderbilt sophomore Kristen Svicarovich (two birdies and two bogies) posted the only even-par scores on Wednesday. Svicarovich, who hails from Hillsboro, Ore., is one of two native Oregonians in the field.
Ohio State's Je (75-70) is one of four players tied for fifth place at three-over 145. The opening round leader, Pepperdine junior Carolina Llano, followed up her 2-under 69 with a 6-over 77, putting her into a five-way tie for ninth place with a four-over 146.
Led by Vargas, Pepperdine had the best team performance of the day, shooting 11-over-par. Overall, the Waves (291-295=586) are at 18-over, tied with Auburn (290-296=586), which had a nearly equally impressive day at 12-over-par.
Defending national champion UCLA (+22, 288-302=590) stands four shots back in third place. California (+26, 295-299=594) moved up from seventh place to fourth place, eight shots back. Top-ranked Duke (+27, 292-303=595) is in fifth place, nine shots behind.
With a round of 12-over-par, Ohio State (+29, 301-296=597) made one of the biggest jumps of the day, going from a tie for 12th up to sixth place.
Southern California (+31, 287-312=599), the 2003 national champions and the leader after Tuesday's first round, had a difficult day, shooting 28-over-par on Wednesday and dropping into seventh place.
NOTES & QUOTES
Auburn is playing in its 11th NCAA Championships event, and Pepperdine is playing in its sixth NCAA Championships event. This is the first time either school has held the lead after any round.
Tuesday's average score was 75.76, while Wednesday's average score (influenced by the weather) was 77.29.
The most difficult holes on the course thus far have been #1 (eight birdies, 134 bogies or worse), #3 (five birdies, 131 bogies or worse) and #18 (10 birdies, 129 bogies or worse).
The kindest holes have been #13 (38 birdies) and #14 (35 birdies).
After two days, there have been four performances under par, and 11 rounds of par.
If the Fall Preview - held last September on this course - gives any indication, Auburn is in good shape on Thursday. The Tigers' best round came in the third round, as they shot 278 (best among all teams that day), helping Auburn to a fifth-place finish in the three-round tournament. Three Tiger players went under par that day.
One of the tournament co-leaders, Auburn's Diana Ramage, is looking to improve on her NCAA finish for the fourth straight year. As a 2002 freshman, she was tied for 55th, as a 2003 sophomore, she was tied for 45th, and last year as a 2004 junior she was tied for 11th.
Another tournament co-leader, UCLA's Charlotte Mayorkas, is looking to make a similar improvement. She tied for 50th as a 2002 freshman, tied for 17th as a 2003 freshman and tied for fourth as a 2004 junior. In her three previous NCAA Championships, she has only had one over-par performance in the third and fourth rounds.
Another tournament co-leader, Pepperdine sophomore Eileen Vargas, is seeking her first collegiate tournament victory. Her 70 today was the second-best performance of her college career.
The second eagle of the tournament was turned in by LSU senior Brooke Shelton, who posted a two on the par-4 12th hole.
QUOTES FROM PEPPERDINE SOPHOMORE EILEEN VARGAS (tied for first at +2 overall):
'With the wind it was pretty tough. I just tried to hit the fairways and the greens, and tried to stay warm. The key was hitting fairways and greens... (on playing with the wind and rain) We have pretty good practice at school. Being on the beach it's windy. But it never gets this cold... (on the team's chances) We have a really good team. We've had a really good year so far. Hopefully it will end well.'
QUOTES FROM UCLA SENIOR CHARLOTTE MAYORKAS (tied for first at +2 overall):
'It was a little wet today, and then it got cold. Now the wind is picking up. It was okay today. I had to pace myself, one hole, one shot at a time. You can't control the weather. You have to focus on what you're doing.'
QUOTES FROM AUBURN SENIOR DIANA RAMAGE (tied for first at +2 overall):
'I tried not to make mistakes today. I have never been so cold. I kept it in play, but I didn't make my putts. I kept hitting the greens and stuck it out. I didn't make a putt over five feet until #6 and #7, and I made long birdie putts to get to even. It was really, really cold. You just try to do as well as you can.'
QUOTES FROM OHIO STATE SOPHOMORE DANA JE (tied for fifth at +3 overall):
'I really started badly. I was 2-over after three holes. I tried to focus on hitting the fairways and greens. The weather made it hard for everybody. I had to be patient with the weather and the course. We played in rain the last couple of tournaments. That experience helped me to play well today. At the Big 10 Tournament we played in the snow, and this weather was better than that.'
QUOTES FROM CALIFORNIA JUNIOR SOPHIA SHERIDAN (tied for fifth at +3 overall):
'We started out in the rain for most of the front nine and then the wind kicked up for the final four. I had to add 20 yards on a couple of the holes. I tried to play it smart, playing with the wind and using the natural fade or by hitting low. With the wind picking up for the people in the afternoon, I'm glad I'm done for the day.'
QUOTES FROM AUBURN COACH KIM EVANS:
'At first there was rain but no wind. When it quit raining, the wind started. So you got one or the other. It's a tradeoff both ways. It's going to be breezy the next couple of days... (on what score it will take to win) I don't know. If the wind stays strong, it's going to be hard to get under-par rounds. The course is showing its teeth. Everything is set up for a close championship ... If we continue to take care of our games, we hope to be one of the teams that stands out. I'm pleased with our effort today.'
QUOTES FROM PEPPERDINE COACH LAURIE GIBBS:
'They played great. I'm really proud of them with these conditions. I'm really not surprised. We expected tough conditions. Until now, we felt like we've had a little luck. When we teed off it was brutal. I was happy to see the sun and put the umbrellas away. I'm very pleased with our scores, but it doesn't surprise me with this group. Today was really important. It's a day where you could really shoot yourself out of it. It's important to stay in the hunt. It's kind of a moving day, where you could move in or move out.'
QUOTES FROM UCLA COACH CARRIE FORSYTH:
'There were really tough conditions out there today. We had to count a high score so that's not good, but with the wind and rain it was really hard to tell what was a good score out there today. Our goal was just to come out and play our best. The weather was just too tough to say that we should shoot a specific score. Overall, I thought we stayed focused for the most part, although we had a couple of lapses that cost us. However, we are still in contention, and at this point, that's all you can ask for.'
QUOTES FROM CALIFORNIA COACH NANCY McDANIEL:
'I'm happy to have two rounds under 300 and we would like to get a couple more. I don't know how this score will hold up today, it depends on the weather this afternoon... (on dealing with the weather) We tried to be smart and not be too aggressive with the wind.'
QUOTES FROM DUKE COACH DAN BROOKS:
'I don't think there is anything about this golf course that makes that weather any more treacherous. It actually to me made a good combination. Sometimes if you are going to have these types of conditions the golf course can be almost too hard and you feel like you are being robbed on decent shots. I thought the combination of this course, which is a very reasonable golf course, with the weather conditions made for a real solid test. I feel like we were tested and feel like everyone throughout the day is going to be tested ... I feel good about where we are. I wouldn't mind being a few shots closer, but it is not an insurmountable margin at all. We could take care of that margin in a few holes. We are in good shape.'
QUOTES FROM SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA COACH ANDREA GASTON:
'It was a tough day, but I'm proud of my kids. They are hanging in there, giving their best on every shot. The combination of wind and rain is about as tough as it gets and it really takes a lot of feel to understand the changing conditions... (on the difference between Tuesday and Wednesday) We struggled with the pace of the greens and how the wind was affecting our putts and there were a lot of missed putts... (on tomorrow) We need to regroup and keep doing what we have been doing all year. All of our players know that we have the ability to put it together.'
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