Buffs In 14th At ICON Invitational
HUMBLE, Texas – The Colorado Buffaloes had a better start at the ICON Invitational than their previous tournament, carding a 296 in the first round, and overall had a much better showing through the first 36 holes despite being in 14th in the team standings.
"There was definitely progress and it is only our third day outside since the start of January," head coach Anne Kelly said. "We definitely have some work to do. The team continues to work hard and is committed to improvement."
Colorado recorded a 300 in the second round to finish the day with a 596. It is a 30-stroke improvement through the first two rounds from this tournament and the last tournament (Lamkin Invitational) a week ago where CU shot a 626 (314-312) in the first two rounds. The Buffs are currently three strokes behind North Texas (593) and are only six back from TCU (590). Texas State is 15th (612).
Southern California has the lead in the team standings. The Trojans fired a 551 at the par 72, 6,247-yard Golf Club of Houston, which included rounds of 270 and 281, to sit at 25-under. Illinois is second (567) and Oklahoma State is third (568).
Natalie Vo was added to the Buffs' line-up in a last-minute change and did quite well. Her 145 has her tied for 23rd overall heading into the final round. She recorded a 69 in her first round, sinking four birdies. She made par on her first three holes of the day. Then after recording a birdie, followed by a bogey, she made another four straight pars. With nine holes left in her first round, she then made back-to-back birdies, putting her at 2-under. She made par on the next three holes before sinking another birdie and finished the round by making par on the last three holes. Her second round saw her shoot a 76, putting her at 1-over on the day.
"Unfortunately Ellie Gower had an injury but Natalie Vo was a real trooper and made the trip last night into Houston, arriving about one this morning," Kelly said. "She played an excellent round of golf (the first round) and showed some real mental toughness all day long."
Malak Bouraeda had a fairly nice day, carding rounds of 75 and 72. She had three birdies and three bogeys in her first round, but an unfortunate triple on No. 6, a par 4, is what put her at 3-over for the round. Bouraeda came back in the second round and was 1-under heading into her last hole where she recorded a bogey to finish the round even. She is tied for 32nd (147).
Hailey Schalk is tied for 51st after carding a 6-over with rounds of 74 and 76 (150) and Diane Baillieux is tied for 67th with a 154 (78-76). Lauren Gooding shot an 83 and a 76 and is 75th overall.
There is a three-way tie for the individual lead. Amy Taylor (Texas Tech), Cindy Kou (USC) and Amari Avery (USC) all scored a 136 in the first two rounds.
The third round starts Tuesday with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. CT. Colorado is paired with North Texas and Texas State and will start on the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th holes.
NOTES: Colorado shot a 296 in the first round, which was a 12 stroke improvement from its third round at the Lamkin Invitational on Feb. 15 (308) … Vo recorded her second-ever round in the 60s.
|TOP 5 INDIVIDUALS|
|T1.||Amy Taylor, Texas Tech||68-68—136|
|T1.||Cindy Kou, Southern California||68-68—136|
|T1.||Amari Avery, Southern California||65-71—136|
|4.||Kornkamol Sukaree, Illinois||70-68—138|
|5.||Crystal Wang, Illinois||68-71—139|