Starkute Shoots Career Round As Cats Bolster Top 10 Position
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Sophomore Gile Bite Starkute picked a pivotal day to shoot a career low round as her 4-under score on Sunday paced the Wildcats to ninth place, safely ahead of the top-15 cut line of the third day of stroke play at the NCAA Championships. Starkute's first-ever 68 featured five birdies, one bogey and twelve pars with eight of them coming consecutively.
"I am incredibly proud of these ladies for how they overcame a tough start to the day and finished a 4-over par," said head coach Laura Ianello. "My message to our team is just to keep fighting because we all know that it's not over until its over. Gile had an incredible round today with a new career low and really set the tone for our whole team to hang tough today. It's going to feel a lot like an NCAA Regional tomorrow for the final round of stroke play as we will need to make a push to reach the top eight for match play."
Arizona overcame a horrendous start to the day with a troublesome first hole on No. 10 as Starkute was two strokes under par at the turn followed by Yu-Sang Hou at 1-under and Ya Chun Chang at 2-over. After the entire lineup carded six birdies through it first nine holes, the Wildcats took advantage of scoring opportunities after the turn by carding 11 birdies.
Yu-Sang Hou's steady 2-under round on Sunday marked the first time she broke par during the blistery winds of the NCAA Championships. Hou enters the final day of stroke play as Arizona's top player on the leaderboards in 24th at 5-over par.
The Cats safely made the cut on Sunday, finishing in the top 15 by over 10 strokes. They are in a crowded pack of seven teams in the leaderboards separated by a total of nine strokes. Arizona currently sits one place and one stroke behind eighth place, which is the cut line for match play beginning on Tuesday.