GREENSBORO, N.C. — Florida State junior Jessica Negron carded the best score of the second round — a 3-under par 69 — and is in a tie for first place in the individual standings and the Seminoles sit in second place in the team standings with one round remaining to play in the Bryan National Collegiate on the Bryan Park Players Course.
Negron came within one stroke of tying her career low for a single round and the Seminoles finished 1-over par as a team to move from a tie for fifth place in the team standings into second place with 18 holes remaining to be played in the event.
Florida State enters Sunday’s final round of play trailing Tennessee by only two strokes in the race for the team championship. The Seminoles, in turn, lead No. 6 North Carolina by four strokes and No. 19 Ohio State by five strokes. The Seminoles are playing for their first team championship of the year and have earned three top-five team finishes during the fall and spring seasons. Negron is tied in the individual standings with Erica Popson of Tennessee and Rachel Rohanna of South Carolina. Negron was one stroke better than both Popson and Rohanna in the second round to move from a tie for eighth place in the individual standings after the first round to a shot at her first career championship entering the third round.
“I am very proud of how the girls played today,” said head coach Amy Bond. “They played some great golf. This is the round I have been waiting to see all spring long. We have put ourselves into a good position going into tomorrow.”
Negron continued her late season drive toward the postseason as she carded a 69 (the best round of her junior year) for a two-round total of 141. She was at par with a 72 in the first round and moved up seven positions in the individual standings with her second-round score of 69. Negron played one of the best rounds of her collegiate career — 18 rounds at par or better with three birdies. She birdied her second and third holes of the day to move to two under, moved to 3-under par with a birdie on her eighth hole and closed the round with 10 consecutive holes of par.
Negron has put her game into overdrive in this tournament and is four strokes under par over the last 23 holes with 22 of 23 holes scored at par or better. She has earned scores of 71-72-69 in her last three rounds dating to the third round of last weekend’s Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic.
“I hit the majority of greens in regulation and felt that my putting was pretty good today,” Negron said. “I really try to play well throughout the season but there is something about approaching the postseason — maybe my own personal April and May Madness — but as we get closer to postseason I know that we all have to play well to make it back to nationals. That’s the thing; we all have to play well so we go to nationals as a team. That’s our No. 1 goal.”
Negron is one stroke ahead of the nation’s No. 1-ranked golfer — Lindy Duncan of Duke who has a two-day total of 142.