May 8, 2009

Crimson Tide Leading NCAA East Regional

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Sophomore Camilla Lennarth carded an even-par 70 and the No. 8 Alabama women's golf team shot an 11-over par 291 on Friday to open up an eight-stroke lead at the NCAA East Regional on the University of Florida's par-70, 6,023-yard Mark Bostick Golf Course.

"The girls did a fantastic job of hanging in there today,” Alabama head coach Mic Potter said following the second round. “It was a little winder and tougher for us to play in the afternoon. We got off to a horrendous start and it was looking pretty bleak for a while. But they turned it around and did a good job of hanging in there. We look forward to going out there early tomorrow and shooting a low score.”

After 36 holes of play, the Crimson Tide is at 15-over-par 575 with Denver in second place at 23-over-par 583. A pair of Southeastern Conference teams is tied for third at 25-over 585 with top-seeded Virginia rounding out the top five at 27-over-par 587.

The top eight teams following Saturday's final round will advance to the NCAA Championships on May 19-22 at the Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md. Alabama will be looking to make its fourth consecutive at the NCAA Championships appearance under Potter's guidance. Georgia holds the eighth position after two days of play at 32-over-par 592, 17 strokes behind the Tide.

Lennarth, a Stockholm, Sweden native, is 1-under-par 139 for the tournament and has a two-stroke lead over Tennessee's Nathalie Mansson in the race for medalist honors.

Beginning her round on No. 10, Lennarth played the opening nine at even par with a bogey on No. 10 and a birdie on No. 18. She got to 1-under on the round with a birdie on No. 2, but fell to 1-over with back-to-back bogeys on No. 2 and No. 3. She birdied the par-5 No. 7 to get back to even and then recorded pars on her final two holes to close out the round.

Freshman Brooke Pancake continued her consistent play on Friday with a 2-over-par round of 72. The Chattanooga, Tenn., native fired a 3-over 38 on her opening nine holes but got a shot back as she made the turn with a birdie on No. 1. Pancake then posted eight consecutive pars to finish her second round. She is tied for fifth at 2-over-par 142 for the tournament.

Junior Rhea Nair shot a solid 3-over 73 in the second round to move into a tie for 24th with teammate Kathleen Ekey, who carded a 76 on day two. Both sit at 7-over-par 147 headed into Saturday's final round. Sophomore Courtney Harter was the Tide's No. 5, shooting an 83 to round out the scoring.

Alabama will be in the first group to tee off at 6:40 a.m. (CDT) Saturday. The Crimson Tide will be playing with second-place Denver and third-place Tennessee. Live stats for the tournament are available at golfstat.com.


UCLA Retain Double-Digit Lead at NCAA Central Regional

The second-ranked UCLA women's golf team retained its double-digit lead through 36 holes at the NCAA Central Regional, hosted at the Scarlet Course in Columbus, OH.

The Bruins posted a team score of 290 (+2) on Friday for a two-day total of 574 (-2) in cool and cloudy conditions. They held a 10-stroke lead over Purdue, which posted a score of 289 (+1) for a 36-hole total of 584 (+8). Oklahoma State was third at 589 (+13), followed by Wake Forest at 593 (+17) and Michigan State at 595 (+19). In sixth place was New Mexico at 597 (+21), followed by Ohio State at 599 (+23) and eighth place UT Chattanooga at 602 (+26).

The top eight teams following Saturday's round advance to the NCAA Championship in Maryland, May 19-22.

Sophomore Maria Jose Uribe and freshman Stephanie Kono remained atop the leader board through Friday's round at five-under par 139, each posting two-under par scores of 70.

Uribe was one-over par through eight holes before a birdie at her ninth brought her to even par on her outward nine. She was still at even par through 14 holes before posting birdies at her 15th and 17th holes for a 34 on her inward nine.

Kono carded a two-over par 38 on her first nine, then birdied four holes on her inward nine for a 32.

Junior Sydnee Michaels fell seven spots after posting a 77 (+5). She was tied for 10th place at 147 (+3).

Sophomore Glory Yang moved up six spots with a 75 (+3). She was tied for 24th at 151 (+7).

Senior Tiffany Joh was tied for 44th at 153 (+9) after improving 14 spots with a score of 75 (+3).


ASU Takes 15-Shot Lead After Round One Of West Regional

The No. 1 Arizona State women's golf team made an instant statement at the NCAA West Regional as they finished round one in record-breaking style. The Sun Devils stormed past the competition, shooting an ASU round one record of 15-under 273 at the par-72, 6,286 yard Karsten Golf Course in Tempe, Ariz. The closest competitors were Arizona, Texas and Texas A&M, who finished even on the day for a three-way tie for second.

"It was really fun to see on this situation, on this day, the team play to the potential that I have really felt they could do," said seventh year head coach Melissa Luellen. "When you put it all together, that's when it's really fun. This team is so talented, but when you put it all together, it's record breaking."

ASU's previous 18 hole record was 14-under 274 at 2006 Wildcat Invitational. The Sun Devils best round at the ASU Karsten Golf Course was in 2007 at the PING/ASU Invitational when the team shot an 8-under 280 to win the tournament.

Four Sun Devils finished well under par for ASU and in the top 10. Carlota Ciganda, the 2009 Pac-10 Champion, is currently tied for second behind USC's Belen Mozo. Ciganda both started the day and finished the day with two birdies. She fired six birdies to finish 5-under 67.

"I played great golf today. I had two birdies on the first two holes and I was keeping patience on the golf course," said Ciganda. "I was playing well with my driver and my putt and everything was working today. I finished with two putts too so that makes it even better."

Juliana Murcia carded a 4-under 68. The junior knocked in five birdies to finish the round tied for fourth. Seniors Azahara Munoz and Jennifer Osborn both carded 3-under 69. Both Munoz and Osborn knocked in four birdies over the course of the day to finish tied for sixth. Jaclyn Sweeney shot a 1-over 73, recording one birdie.

"The important thing for me is that when we finish this tournament, that all five players are playing great and that we have confidence going into the last tournament," said Luellen. "That's my goal for this group."

The Sun Devils will tee of at 12:20 tomorrow on the back nine.