Alabama extends lead to 11 strokes
Tide's Pancake sits atop individual leaderboard after two rounds
FRANKLIN, Tenn. -- Second-ranked Alabama continued its impressive play on Wednesday in the second round of the NCAA Championships with a 3-under-par 285 on the par-72, 6,377-yard North Course at the Vanderbilt Legends Club to extend is lead in the team standings.
The Crimson Tide stands at 5-under-par 571 halfway through the 72-hole championships with an 11-shot lead over top-ranked UCLA, North Carolina and Virginia (+6, 582). Arizona State and South Carolina are tied for fifth at 7-over 583.
"The idea was to stay consistent," Alabama head coach Mic Potter said. "I think we have had only one double bogey in 36 holes, so avoiding big mistakes and taking the birdies where they present themselves is the key.
"We did a pretty good job of it -- you are going to make some bogeys out there because it is just so hard to get close to some of the holes. You are going to end up on the short side. You are going to three-putt. You just have to take advantage when you have your opportunities."
Alabama senior and Chattanooga, Tenn., native Brooke Pancake was able to take advantage and holds the 36-holds lead in the individual standings. Pancake fired a 2-under-par 70 on Wednesday and is 6-under-par 138 after two rounds for a two-stroke lead on Arizona State's Giulia Molinaro.
"I very much like my positioning after two rounds," Pancake said. "I have put myself in a good place going into the next two days."
Pancake opened with eight pars before reeling off three straight birdies on the ninth, 10th and 11th holes. She made bogey on the 13th before finishing with five consecutive pars.
"Brooke hits fairways, hits greens, and when she putts well, she is going to shoot under par every time," Potter said.
Sophomore Stephanie Meadow carded a 1-over 73 in the second round and enters the third round tied for sixth at 2-under 142. She made the turn on Wednesday at 2-under but had a wild back nine with three bogeys, two birdies and a double bogey.
Junior Jennifer Kirby, sophomore Hannah Collier and Meadow all made birdie on the 18th Tuesday to give Alabama a closing push. The birdies for Kirby and Collier moved them into red numbers with 1-under-par rounds of 71.
Kirby is 1-over 145 after 36 holes, tied for 16th position while Collier is 2-over 146, and tied for 25th. Courtney McKim shot 77 and was the drop score to the Tide.