DENVER, Colo. -- Coming into the day leading by eight strokes, top-ranked Rollins posted a solid round of 293 on Friday and will head into Saturday’s final round leading by seven. The Tars are in search of their sixth NCAA Division II national championship and first since 2008. Rollins has won a record five NCAA Division II national championships and finished runner-up six other times.
Rollins (871) leads defending-champion Indianapolis (878), who sits second after a third round 292. Dallas Baptist (885) shot a 294 to hold on to third while Tarleton State (886) jumped two spots to fourth after a 285, the only round under par on Friday. Nova Southeastern (889) fell to fifth after a third round 297.
“Obviously, it’s great to be leading and we rather lead than not but we know there are a lot of great teams behind us including the defending national champions,” said Tars head coach Julie Garner. “Nobody is going to hand anyone anything and that’s been fairly certain from the beginning so it will be a great battle tomorrow.”
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Starting on No. 1, the Tars were even on the front, again seeing their lead grow to double digits, but the brutal back-nine proved to trouble once again. Rollins shot five-over on the back en route to their 293.
Senior Hally Leadbetter entered the day with the 36-hole lead and is now tied for fourth with 215 strokes after carding a 74. Lexie Toth posted her second straight 74 and moves into a tie for ninth while Annie Dulman (221) and Paige Lyle (221) are tied for 16th. Dulman shot her best round of the championships with a one-under 71. Madison Lellyo also carded her low round of the tournament with a two-over 74 and is now tied for 48th with 229 strokes.
Leadbetter’s day included four birdies, including back-to-back red numbers on 15 and 16, eight pars and six bogey’s. Toth was even on the front, birdieing No. 3 before bogeying the par four ninth. The sophomore would go on to shoot two-over on the back with a pair of birdies, four pars, two bogey’s and a double on 16.
Dulman opened her round with five straight pars before back-to-back birdies on 6 and 7. The senior would bogey No. 8 and take the turn at one-under. She would fall back to even par after bogeying the par-5 11th but came back with a birdie on 12 before closing with six straight pars.
Lyle struggled a bit after her career best 68 on Thursday, finishing with 12 pars and six bogey’s en route to her 78 while Lellyo carded an unbelievably steady round, opening with 12 straight pars and eventually finished with 16 pars and pair of bogey’s on 13 and 17.