Kang Tied for Third Place, Two Strokes off the Lead Heading Into the Final Round at the NCAA Championships.

May 24, 2001

HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Fla. - Freshman Jimin Kang shot a two-under par 70 Thursday afternoon and is tied for third heading into the final round of the NCAA Championships being held May 22-25 at par 72, 6,106-yard El Campeon Course at the Mission Inn Country Club.

Kang stands two strokes off the lead of Lousiana State's Katy Harris with a three-round total of two-under 214 (74-70-70=214). After shooting a two-over 74 in the first round, Kang carded a two-under 70 on Wednesday and then another 70 on Thursday and is tied with Auburn's Celeste Troche for third place. Harris leads the tournament heading into the final round with a three-round total of 212 (-4), while UCLA's Laura Moffat, the tournament leader for two rounds, is second at 213 (-3).

As a team, Arizona State turned in its best round of the tournament with a 12-over 300 on Thursday and is tied with Michigan State for 15th place with a three-day total of 914. Duke leads the tournament with a three-day total of 882, while Georgia (886), Texas (888), Auburn (888) and Oklahoma State (892) round out the top five. ASU is 15 strokes out of the top 10 heading into Friday's final round.

For the second consecutive day, Kang turned in a sensational first nine holes with three birdies and was two under par when she made the turn. On the day, Kang had six birdies (holes 1, 2, 5, 10, 14 and 18), dropping a sensational 25-foot birdie putt on No. 5 and missing a putt for eagle by just two inches on No. 14.

'It was just like yesterday,' Kang said. 'At the beginning I was pretty solid and started making some putts, but then I started putting pressure on myself. My short game was a lot better until holes No. 6 and 7 when I missed two three-foot putts.'

When she tees off on Friday afternoon, Kang will be vying to become ASU's first individual national champion since Grace Park in 1999. Since the other tournament leaders will tee off in the morning, Kang will likely know what she has to shoot in order to win the tournament, something the 21-year-old said will not bother her.

'It doesn't matter (if I know or not),' she said. 'In golf, you never know what's going to happen until the last putt. I'll be aggressive. I always am.'

For Arizona State, sophomore Melanie Hunt is tied for 41st with a three-day total of 226 (74-74-78), senior Molly Cooper is tied for 82nd at 235 (81-78-76) and sophomore Blair O'Neal is tied for 121st at 252 (85-87-80). Junior Lisa Meredith returned after withdrawing from Wednesday's round with a four-over 76 to go with the 74 she shot in the opening round.

'It was a much better day for us,' head coach Linda Vollstedt said. 'We were much more steady today.'

The Sun Devils tee off at 11:50 a.m. Eastern Time in Friday's final round and will be paired with Purdue and California.

2001 NCAA Championships Women's Results - Round ThreeTeam Standings: 1. Duke 299-293-290=882, 2. Georgia 298-295-293=886, T3. Auburn 300-294-294=888, Texas 298-299-291=888, 5. Oklahoma State 293-299-300=892, 6. UCLA 295-299-299=893, 7. Southern California 296-307-293=896, T8. Arizona 302-301-296=899, Tulsa 307-291-301=899, 10. Stanford 298-303-300=901, T11. LSU 304-303-298=905, Pepperdine 299-306-300=905, 13. New Mexico State 301-298-307=906, 14. Kent State 304-309-298=911, T15. Arizona State 305-309-300=914, Michigan State 310-300-304=914, 17. California 302-308-312=922, 18. Purdue 305-309-309=923, 19. San Jose State 303-312-311=923, 20. Washington 315-305-310=930, 21. New Mexico 318-307-308=933, 22. South Florida 314-314-310=938, 23. Ohio State 313-312-316=941, 24. South Carolina 308-323-311=942.

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