Salas, USC Take Lead At NCAA Central Region

May 7, 2010

Results at

Junior Lizette Salas's 1-under 71 was the only round under par - and the best by two strokes -- during a windy second-round of the 2010 NCAA Championships Central Region as the No. 4 USC women's golf team leapfrogged Arizona State into first place with 18 holes to play at the Otter Creek. G.C. in Columbus, Ind., on Thursday (May 6).

The Trojans, making their 19th consecutive NCAA appearance, appear to be a safe bet to move on to the NCAA finals for the 13th year in a row after a combined 16-over 304 moved them to 27-over 603 (299-304), four strokes better than the No. 2 Sun Devils (607).

The top eight teams plus two individuals from each field will advance to the championship round, scheduled for May 18-21 at the Country Club of Landfall, hosted by North Carolina-Wilmington. USC, which won three straight regional titles before a third place in 2009, is 25 shots better than the team vying for the final spot into the NCAAs.

Behind USC and ASU, Oklahoma State is third (613), Oregon fourth (621), Purdue fifth (623), New Mexico sixth (624), Denver seventh (625) and Mississippi, Michigan State and Georgia tied for eighth (626).

Salas began the day tied for 16th but quickly moved up the leader board with a 2-under front 9 after starting on the 10th tee. After bogeys on 2 and 3, she eagled the par 5 5th hole and birdied the ninth to finish her round. She leads the tournament at par 144 (75-69), two ahead of Oklahoma State's Victoria Park (146) and three better than Kent State's Martina Gavier (147).

Freshman Cyna Rodriguez is tied for 10th at 7-over 151 (74-77). Though she had six bogeys and one birdie, she stayed away from any major errors in her second straight solid round.

Sophomore Inah Park turned in her second round in a row that counted toward the Trojans' team score and is now in 13th at 8-over 152 (73-79). She was 6-over going out today but pulled her game together for a 1-over back 9.

Sophomore Jennifer Song, who has three straight top 10 finishes and six on the season, is tied for 17th at 10-over 154 (77-77) while senior Belen Mozo is tied for 39th at 14-over 158 (77-81).

Final-round action begins Saturday at 8 a.m. EDT.

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