NCAA women's golf championships: USC starts final day in second place
After the first two days of the NCAA women's golf championships at the Tulsa Country Club in Tulsa, Okla. the home town Oklahoma Sooners had a three stroke lead over the field, including seven Pac-12 teams in the Top 10.
Day 3 once again was a chance for the seven competing teams from the Pac-12 to make their move on the Sooners.
The No. 1-ranked Trojans started the day tied for fourth place with No. 2 UCLA and No. 11 Arizona. But that would not be the case heading into the final round of play. The Trojans combined to tie for best score of the day (278), with No. 3 Duke and No. 31 Tulane. USC was led by a pair of great rounds by Kyung Kim, who shot a superb 67 (-3), and Doris Chen who shot a 68 (-2). The great rounds helped propel USC into the second spot on the leaderboard with an 826, six strokes behind the Blue Devils heading into the final day of action. On the individual leader side, Chen, 207, also made her move up the boards, now tied for the lead with Celine Boutier of Duke heading into the final round of play.
The No. 2 Bruins, like their Los Angeles rival USC, came into the day tied four fourth place (584) along with fellow Pac-12 powerhouse Arizona. However, unlike USC, the UCLA golfers were not able to catapult past early round leaders Oklahoma. The Bruins were able to hold their ground on the leaderboard after a third-round score of 283, now just one stroke behind Oklahoma for third place. UCLA was led by a pair of 68's as Erynne Lynn and Louise Ridderstorm, the latter now sits tied for eighth on the individual boards with a 212 heading into the final round of play, five strokes off the leader.
The No. 5 ranked Sun Devils who stood alone in third place heading into the third round of play were not able to keep pace with their Pac-12 counterparts and dropped into sixth after a third-day tally of 291. The Sun Devils are now tied with their Arizona rival Wildcats. No single golfer for Arizona State shot under par, but three golfers...Noemi Jiminez, Laura Blanco and Emilie Alonso...all turned in cards reading 3-over 73 for the round. Despite a plus-par round, Jiminez is still in the hunt for the individual title, albeit a slim chance: She is now in 24th place, 11 strokes off the leader.
No. 11 Arizona, like ASU was not able to keep pace with their Pac-12 peers, dropping into a tie for sixth place with none other than the Sun Devils after a 287 third-round score. The Wildcats' Kendall Prince put up the best score of the day for U of A, carding a 1-over 69. However, Prince is not the story on the individual side for Arizona heading into the final round of play: Her teammates Lindsey Weaver and Manon Gadali are. Weaver, after her 2-over 72, sits at 213 and is tied for 11th place on the leaderboard, while teammate Gadali, after her 4-over 74 in the third round, sits at 214 and is now tied for 14th. Weaver and Gadali are six and seven strokes off the leader, respectively.
No. 12 Stanford, who started the day in seventh, saw their third-round score of 294 (+14), drop them down into 14th place with an 880 heading into the final day of play. Like Arizona State, the Cardinal golfers failed to turn in a single round of par or better golf on Thursday as three golfers...Casey Danielson, Marissa Mar and Mariah Stackhouse...all turned in cards reading 4-over 74. Despite the teams drop in the leaderboards, the Cardinal's Stackhouse has inspired her fellow golfers heading into the final round of play. Stanford's Lauren Kim who had the lowest score after day one (67), and was tied for second heading into day three with a 133. However for Kim, she had her worst round so far, a 72 (+2), and now is tied for third on the individual side with a 210, just three stokes behind the leader heading into Friday's final day of play.
The No. 6 ranked Huskies, tied for ninth with Michigan State heading into day three, saw their score of 293 drop them on the leaderboard to 15th overall. Charlotte Thomas' even-par 70 was the only Husky score at par or better on the third day as her teammates combined to shoot 20-over on the day. SooBin Kim is still the golfer of record on the individual side for Washington as they head into the final round of play. Kim, now tied for 20th with a 217, is 10 strokes off the leader.
No. 25 California started day three in 21st place and looking for an impressive combined round to get them back in contention heading into the final day of play. The Golden Bears did move up the board with their lowest score of the championship (289), but were only able to move up one spot to 20. Cal is now tied with Michigan State. Consistency has been key for Nicola Roessler, who has the best chance of topping the individual boards heading into the final round with her 6-over 216, which puts her tied for 18th place, nine strokes off the leader.
NCAA women's golf championship action wraps up tomorrow with day four beginning at 5 a.m. PT/7 a.m. CT at the Tulsa Country Club with all seven Pac-12 teams looking to earn another national championship.