Trojans Remain In First Halfway Through NCAA Championships
May 19, 2010
Behind a 1-under performance from sophomore Jennifer Song and even rounds from senior Belen Mozo and freshman Cyna Rodriguez, No. 3 USC extended its lead to seven strokes at the midway point of the 2010 NCAA Championships on Wednesday (May 19) at the Country Club of Landfall in Wilmington, N.C.
USC, the 2003 and 2008 NCAA champion, followed its 6-under 282 with a round of par (288) for a combined 6-under 570 (282-288), seven better than second-place Alabama at 1-over 577 (289-288). Purdue is third at 2-over 578 (284-294) while UCLA is fourth at 4-over 580 (288-292), Arizona State is fifth at 5-over 581 (288-293), Arizona is sixth at 6-over 582 (296-286) and Virginia is seventh at 9-over 585 (294-291).
Six teams were unable to complete their rounds and will finish them beginning at 7:30 a.m. EDT on Thursday. The third round will start approximately one hour after the completion of the second round. The highest team that did not finish the second round was Florida State, which is tied for eighth with Vanderbilt at 12-over 588.
Troy's second round 288, which tied for the fourth-best NCAA Championships round in school history, was the second best of the day, behind only 2010 Pac-10 champion Arizona's 2-under 286.
Said USC 14th-year coach Andrea Gaston, who has guided USC to 13 straight NCAAs: 'Today was more difficult with the wind switching directions on some of the key holes, so I'm very happy with our scores. Arizona played very well and was 2-under, but I've got no complaints about a par round.
'Jen played well again, as did Cyna. Belen, every time she seemed to have a bogey, she was able to back it up with a birdie. She seems like she's ready to catch fire. Lizette (Salas) is not playing her absolute best, but finishing with a birdie on the final hole, which is what Belen did, too, was a great way to end the round. We needed those birdies on the final hole.'
The Trojans, who have finished in the NCAA Championships' top 4 in five of the past seven years, including a third in 2009, played in the first wave of teams, teeing off the 10th tee at 8 a.m. and finishing shortly before the first of two lightning storms delayed the second round.
Song led the team for the second day in a row and is tied for second at 6-under 138 (67-71), one stroke behind Arizona State's Jennifer Johnson. Song birdied three times in her opening eight holes. Her only misstep came on a double bogey on 16, which was one of a handful of par 3s that were tough to navigate during the windy second round. Following her birdie on 17, Song knocked in pars on the final 10 holes.
Song said the team is 'pumped up' by its success so far, but maintaining a hole-by-hole focus.
'We are very focused,' she said. 'We are basically thinking about the present, what is in front of us. There is no doubt that each one of us is giving 150% out there.
'I missed some makeable birdie putts today, but I was very patient out there. I could have shot a lower score but I was glad that I got through solidly.'
Rodriguez remained near the top of the leader board and is now tied for third at 4-under 140 (68-72), her best 36-hole performance of the season. She started off 2-over early with bogeys on 13 and 14 but quickly responded with birdies on three of her next four holes. She finished with bogeys on 2 and 7 and a birdie on 4.
Mozo is tied for 20th at 1-over 145 (73-72) after a round in which she meshed six bogeys and six birdies. She was even on both the front and back 9s and backed up four of the bogeys with four birdies during her eventful round.
Junior Lizette Salas is tied for 29th at 3-over 147 (74-73) after a 1-over second round that included four bogeys and three birdies. She was 1-over going out and got back to par with a birdie on the 3rd hole. Back-to-back bogeys on 7 and 8 dropped her to 2-over, but she managed to close out the day with a birdie on 9 for some needed momentum.
Sophomore Inah Park is tied for 100th at 11-over 155 (77-78). Her second round included two birdies.