UCLA, Spitz in First Heading into NCAA Regionals Finale
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Emma Spitz owns a two-stroke lead atop the leader board and is joined by two other Bruins in the top three as the No. 2 seed UCLA women's golf team finished day two of the NCAA Tallahassee Regional Championships at Seminole Legacy Golf Club tied for first place on Tuesday.
The Bruins are tied with course host Florida State at 4-over 580 after shooting a 4-over 292 in the second round. UCLA and Florida State hold a 13-stroke lead on the rest of the field.
Spitz was one of two golfers to shoot 2-under 70 in round two. With her performance today, Spitz improves to 4-under (70-70) to position herself in first place out of a field of 64 golfers. Florida State's Beatrice Wallin, who is in second place at -3, was tied with Spitz heading into the final round of last season's NCAA Louisville Regional Championships before Spitz pulled away with a 4-under 68 to win the tournament medal.
Should Spitz hang onto her lead, it would mark the fourth consecutive year that a Bruin has won the individual title after Spitz's win last season and Patty Tavatanakit's back-to-back wins in 2018 and 2019. Tavatanakit and Mariajo Uribe (2008 and 2009) are the only Bruins to ever medal at two NCAA Regional Championships in their careers.
Joining Spitz in the top 3 are Emilie Paltrinieri and Caroline Canales who are both tied for 3rd at 1-under on the tournament. UCLA has had three top-10 individual finishers at the NCAA Regional Championships twice in the event's 27-year history with the result coming back-to-back in 2009 and 2008. In both seasons, the Bruins won the NCAA Regionals title and proceeded to finish runner-up at the NCAA Championships.
2009 NCAA Regional Champions – Columbus, Ohio (Scarlet Golf Course)
Team: 1st (+13, 877; 284-290-303)
Mariajo Uribe (-4, 1st)
Stephanie Kono (-3, 2nd)
Sydnee Michaels (+8, T-7th)
Glory Yang (+14, T-27th)
Tiffany Joh (+16, T-41st)
2008 NCAA Regional Champions – Austin, Texas (University of Texas Golf Club)
Team: 1st (-3, 861; 283-293-285)
Mariajo Uribe (-8, T-1st)
Tiffany Joh (-5, 4th)
Maiya Tanaka (+2, T-10th)
Sydnee Michaels (+9, T-30th)
Glory Yang (+12, T-41st)
After shooting 4-over through her first three holes of round two, Spitz torched the course for six birdies and went bogey-free the rest of the round.
Florida State's Wallin was 7-under through 27 holes thanks to a blistering 4-under 32 on the front nine on day two, and at one point, led Spitz and the field by five strokes. Spitz and Wallin swapped places on the leader board with polar opposite results on the Tuesday's back nine. Spitz recorded three birdies in her final five holes while Wallin dropped a triple bogey on the par-5 11th and three more bogeys on 12, 13 and 18 to finish 1-over 73 on the day.
Paltrinieri matched Spitz with six birdies of her own in the second round to bring her within three strokes of first on the leader board. This is Paltrinieri's best mark after day two at the NCAA Regionals of her career after falling 19 spots with a 6-over 78 in the second round at the NCAA Louisville Regional Championships a season ago.
Spitz, Canales and Paltrinieri are one of six golfers to remain under par through 36 holes of the tournament. Canales shot a 1-over 73 on day two with four birdies.
Freshman Alessia Nobilio is tied for 51st. Zoe Campos shot a 7-over 79 in her second round.
Head Coach Carrie Forsyth has won eight NCAA Regionals titles at the helm of the UCLA program and she has led the Bruins to three consecutive top-3 finishes (17 total in 23-year career).
UCLA goes for its ninth NCAA Regional title in program history and its first since 2014 tomorrow morning, teeing off at 5 a.m. PT/8 a.m. ET.