NEW ORLEANS, La. — No. 17 Colorado shot the second-best round in the field on Monday to move from a tie for fourth into sole possession of third place through two rounds at the 2012 Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Golf Championships.
The Buffs shot a 5-over par 293 in the second round as the top five teams in the field shot between a 4-over 294 and a 6-over 295 while no other team broke 10-over par in the round. No. 4 Southern California leads the way after shooting 4-over 292 in the second round and sits at 9-over par 595. The Trojans hold a four-stroke advantage ahead of No. 13 Duke, who is 13-over par 589 after shooting 6-over par 294 in the second round. Colorado sits one stroke behind the Blue Devils at 14-over par 590, and one stroke ahead of No. 19 Baylor, who is 15-over par 591 after a 6-over par 294 in the second round. No. 18 Florida matched the Buffaloes 5-over par 293 in the second round and are fifth at 17-over par 593.
“I felt like the conditions were tougher than they were yesterday,” CU head coach Anne Kelly said. “Especially on the first nine holes, which was the side we struggled on yesterday. It was cold and rainy with gusting winds. We had a good solid round and stayed at the top of the pack.”
In a field ranked the fourth strongest in Division I this season, encompassing the fall and spring, all 15 teams in the field are ranked in the top 60 with three top-five teams and nine top-20 teams in attendance. The Buffaloes are ahead of No. 2 Alabama (eighth), No. 3 Auburn (ninth) and No. 11 Texas A&M (seventh) in the current standings.
“We’ve had a trend of improvement here early this spring and that’s great,” Kelly said. “But I still don’t think we’ve hit our full potential. We’re a calm, cool and collected bunch and we’re finding out in these highly ranked tournaments that we can play with anybody and that’s a great confidence boost.”
Senior Emily Talley led the way for the Buffaloes with a 1-under par 71 in the second round. She improved from all the way from a tie for 45th to a tie for 16th at 4-over par 148 through 36 holes. She started her round and ended her round with bogeys but in the middle 16 holes she was 3-under with three birdies and 13 pars.
“In true Talley fashion, she made a very nice comeback,” Kelly said. “She struggled some yesterday but played very solid today.”
For Talley, it’s her second round under par in this season, both coming in the last two tournaments, and her CU record 20th career subpar round. It’s also her 115th career round counting toward team scoring, matching the CU record, and she became just the fifth CU player to record 120 or more career rounds.
Sophomore Alex Stewart shot a second round 1-over par 73 and is even par 144 through two rounds and is in sole possession of fifth place on the individual leader board. She recorded three birdies and had four bogeys to get her 73.
“I had a solid day today,” Stewart said. “I hit the ball really well and had some birdie opportunities. I just didn’t get myself into a lot of trouble, I was patient and played one shot at a time.”
“Alex had a very good day,” Kelly added. “She’s hitting the ball well and gave herself a lot of birdie opportunities. She would’ve like to have made a few more, but she had a great round.”
Sophomore Jenny Coleman shot a 2-over par 74 and after she was 3-over par through her first seven holes and then responded shooting 1-under over the final 11 holes.
“Jenny isn’t quite hitting the ball like she’d want, but she had quite a few ups and downs,” Kelly said. “She’s been working very hard on her short game and it’s nice to see that it’s paying off for her.”
Senior Jessica Wallace shot a 3-over par 75 with a birdie and four bogeys. She had three bogeys on the front nine with a birdie and then was consistent on the back nine with eight pars and a bogey.
“Jess was striking the ball very well,” Kelly said. “She’s not putting poorly, but she can’t quite get the birdie putts to fall. She’s giving herself a lot of opportunities, and putting is such a fickle thing, but you can tell she’s very close to having a low round.”
Sophomore Kristin Coleman shot a 7-over par 79 in the second round. Aside from a couple of bad holes, she was even par over the other 15 holes on the course including the team’s first eagle this spring.
“I saw her hit the shot and thought it would be close, but I missed it,” Kelly said. “She’s playing OK and just had a few tough holes. Hopefully she can turn it around, she’s right on the verge.”