No. 5 Women’s Golf in Third at NCAA Championships
By Lindsay Gaesser, SDA Media Relations
TULSA, Okla.—Senior Justine Lee carded four birdies en route to a 2-under 68 on Wednesday, moving the fifth-ranked Arizona State women’s golf team into third place after the second round of the NCAA Championships. The Sun Devils are five shots off of tournament leader Oklahoma and have a two-round total of 20-over 580 (293-287) at the par-70, 6,194-yard Tulsa Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.
For the second day in a row, No. 7 Oklahoma sits atop the leader board. With a 15-over 575, Oklahoma is three strokes ahead of third-ranked Duke, which moved into second place following today's round. Oklahoma’s Alexandra Kaui climbed the individual leader board from fourth to first after shooting a 3-under 67 on Wednesday. Kaui leads the pack with a total score of 5-under 135.
Paired with Duke and Mississippi State, Arizona State teed off first in the morning wave of golfers from hole one. With a 7:30 a.m. tee time, the conditions were cool, crisp, and breezy. The Sun Devils handled the front nine much better Wednesday morning than they did Tuesday afternoon. As a team, ASU carded five birdies, 10 bogeys, and a double bogey on the front nine in the second round, compared to four birdies, 13 bogeys, and seven double bogeys on the front nine in the first round.
Rebounding from an 82 on Tuesday, Lee looked composed and confident on the course in Wednesday’s round. Although she started out with back-to-back bogeys on holes one and two, Lee caught fire down the home stretch with three birdies on the back nine.
“I think it is just my mindset,” said Lee. “Yesterday, the wind was very strong and I got a little tentative on the course, but today I was determined not to leave anything short and just go for it.
Today was windy as well but not as windy as yesterday, which I was so thankful for,” Lee added. “Conditions were still tough and the course was still hard, but it was good because I went for everything.”
Through 36 holes, Lee has a 10-over 150 (82-68) and is the only Sun Devil to break even in the second round.
After shooting a 69 in the first round, junior Noemi Jimenez seemed a little out of sync on Wednesday. Carding six bogeys for the day, Jimenez slipped from the top five to 24th place, with a two-day total of 5-over 145 (69-76).
“It does not happen very often,” said ASU head coach Melissa Luellen of not counting Jimenez’ score toward the team score today. “She is such a phenomenal, consistent player, and had kind of a rough day. I told the girls that the last few days have been truly a team effort. Justine [Lee] did 14 shots better than yesterday, so she got the game ball today.”
Junior Emilie Alonso had another solid day at Tulsa Country Club. Her second round 3-over 73 brings her total score to 7-over 147 (74-73). Freshman Monica Vaughn and senior Laura Blanco also shot 73s on Wednesday, bringing their two-day totals to 8-over 148. Vaughn struggled with four bogeys on the back nine, while Blanco traded birdies and bogeys throughout the round.
The Sun Devils tee off tomorrow in the afternoon wave on hole one with Oklahoma and Duke. Pairings for the final round will be seeded by score at the close of round three.
Live scoring for all four rounds of the tournament is available at www.golfstat.com. For the third and fourth rounds of the tournament, the NCAA will provide a live webcast from holes 16, 17, and 18, with highlights and a recap provided once play has concluded each day.
|T24||Noemi Jimenez (1)||69||76||145||+5|
|T38||Emilie Alonso (5)||74||73||147||+7|
|T43||Monica Vaughn (2)||75||73||148||+8|
|T43||Laura Blanco (4)||75||73||148||+8|
|T58||Justine Lee (3)||82||68||150||+10|
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It is a special week for Arizona State coach Melissa Luellen. The 12-year Sun Devil coach is not just leading her fifth-ranked team in the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships at Tulsa Country Club, but also returns for a homecoming — along with a class that has overcome challenges. [Read More]
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