Top-ranked Southern California extends lead at St. George Regional in Utah
Annie Park moved into first with an even round while Kyung Kim (+1) and Amy Lee (+2) turned in strong efforts to help No. 1 USC extend its lead on a wet and windy day at the NCAA St. George (Utah) Regional on Friday at the Entrada at Snow Canyon.
The Trojans, who have won an NCAA best 10 regionals, including five in a row, combined for an 8-over 292 second round and now stand at 17-over 585 (293-292), 11 better than second-place Stanford (28-over 596). They began the day with a four-stroke lead. California and Arkansas (602) are tied for third, Virginia is fifth (604) and UNLV is sixth (605). SMU, Wisconsin and New Mexico State are tied for seventh (611).
The top six teams plus the top three individuals from each of the four regionals will advance to the championship round, scheduled for May 22-27 at Concession G.C. in Bradenton, Fla.
"Similar to our opening round on Wednesday, we stayed patient today," USC head coach Andrea Gaston said. "I told them to not look at the big picture, but to stay in the moment and give their best on each shot. We are in a good position going into the final round tomorrow. We just need to play our game and keep doing what we've been doing the first two rounds."
Park turned in her second eagle in as many days, again on a par 4, this one coming on the 365-yard second hole. That sent her to a 1-under par front 9. She closed with a 1-over on the back 9 to finish at 1-over 143 (72-71) through 36 holes, one better than Stanford's Shannon Albert and UNLV's Dana Finkelstein. Two others are two back
"Annie did a great job of staying calm," Gaston said. "She hit a lot of good shots and played really consistent golf."
Karen Chung is tied for sixth at 5-over 147 (71-76). She was 6-over through 17 before closing with her first birdie of the day. Kim is tied for 12th at 6-over 148 (76-72). She birdied 6 with bogeys on 4 and 8 and was even on her final 10 holes.