May 11, 2012
Columbus, Ohio –
The Notre Dame women’s golf team got an early start in the second round of the NCAA Central Regional on Friday morning as the Irish were among the first groups off the tee at 8:00 a.m. They would go on to fire a second round total of 320 that dropped them from fourth to 13th after 36 holes at Ohio State’s Scarlet Course.
That means that the Irish will their work cut out for them on Saturday as they go into the final round on the par-72, 6,248-yard Scarlet Course, trailing eighth-place Ohio State by 12 strokes. That’s the line that the Irish will be shooting for as the top eight finishers at the Central Regional will advance to the NCAA Championship at Vanderbilt’s Legends Course, May 22-25, in Franklin, Tenn.
Third-ranked Southern California continues to lead the regional overall as the Trojans shot the low round of the day with a two-over par 290 for a 36-hole total of 588. They lead second place Vanderbilt, the No. 10 team in the nation, by 12 strokes going into Saturday’s final round. The Commodores shot a four-over par 292 on Friday to move from a tie for eighth to second and are 24-over par with a 600 total.
Purdue (608) and Oregon (608) are tied for fourth after two days and are followed by Auburn (610), North Carolina State (611) and Ohio State (612) to round out the top eight schools heading into Saturday’s action.
The Buckeyes have a two-stroke edge on ninth-place Tennessee (614), three strokes on Florida State (615) and five on Georgia (617) as those three teams will join Arkansas (618), Notre Dame ((624) and Mississippi (626) gunning for the eighth spot and the opportunity to advance.
Notre Dame was led in round two by three golfers – Ashley Armstrong (Flossmoor, Ill.), Becca Huffer (Denver, Colo.) and Kelli Oride (Lihue, Hawaii) – who turned in seven-over par totals of 79 in the second round.
Armstrong, who is now tied for 15th overall with five other golfers, opened with a solid front nine on Friday, going one-over par with two bogeys and a birdie on the par 3 eighth for a one-over total after nine. Things fell apart for the freshman on the back nine where she had a pair of double bogeys (on 10 and 17) to go with two bogeys for her seven-over par. She has a 36-hole total of seven-over par 151. That puts her 10 strokes behind the tournament leader, Lisa McCloskey of Southern California, who shot a four-under 68 on Friday afternoon and is three-under for the tournament with a 141 total.
Huffer is one stroke behind Armstrong and tied with 11 other golfers with an eight-over par 152 after her 79 on Friday. The senior captain had four bogeys on the front nine and three on the back for her seven-over par day.
Oride followed up an opening round 78 with a 79 in her second round to give her a 13-over par total of 157 and that puts her in a group of five golfers who are tied for 56th. The freshman from Hawaii opened with a double bogey and had five bogeys broken up by a birdie on eight to put her six over par after nine holes. She got better as the day went on as she added a second birdie on the back nine to go with a pair of bogeys for her seven-over par day of 79.
Senior Katie Allare (Phoenix, Ariz.) had Notre Dame’s fourth-best round of the day as she carded an 11-over par round of 83. That gives her a two-day total of 168.
Sophomore Kristina Nhim (Cypress, Calif.) had her struggles in the second round and finished with a 14-over total of 86. Her 36-hole scorecard stands at 167.
Individually, the second round saw seven rounds of par or better with McCloskey and USC teammate Sophia Popov joined by Vanderbilt’s Lauren Stratton, turning in four-under par 68s all in the afternoon groups. Those are the three lowest rounds of the tournament.
McCloskey leads the tournament with a 141 and has a two-stroke lead over three golfers – first round leader Marina Alex of Vanderbilt, Maria Salinas of Florida State and Stratton – as all three are one-under par through 36 holes with 143 totals.
Popov is fifth with a two-over par 146 and is five strokes off the lead. Three golfers – Brittany Altomare of Virginia, Alex Buetow of Stetson and Cassy Isagawa of Oregon – round out the top six spots with 147s. Buetow is the top individual in the tournament, as the top two individuals will join the top eight teams at the NCAA Championships.
The Irish will begin play on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on the first hole and will paired with golfers from Mississippi and Michigan for the final round of play.
This is Notre Dame’s fifth consecutive NCAA Regional appearance under coach Susan Holt and the seventh in the program’s history. The Irish advance to the NCAA Championship last year for the first time after finishing fifth at the Central Regional that was held at Notre Dame’s Warren Golf Course.
TEAM RESULTS (36-hole totals): 1. Southern California 298-290-588; 2. Vanderbilt 308-292-600; 3. Virginia 308-295-603; t4. Purdue 301-307-608; Oregon 308-300-608; 6. Auburn 306-304-610; 7. North Carolina State 307-304-611; 8. Ohio State 310-302-612; 9. Tennessee 306-308-614; 10. Florida State 314-301-615; 11. Georgia 299-318-617; 12. Arkansas 310-308-618; 13. Notre Dame 304-320-624; 14. Mississippi 315-311-626; 15. Michigan 315-316-631; 16. Harvard 315-317-632; 17. South Florida 309-325-634; t18. Texas State 320-315-635; Kentucky 322-313-635; 20. East Carolina 329-310-639; 21. Texas-San Antonio 317-326-643; 22. UNC-Wilmington 323-322-645; 23. Siena 328-326-654; 24. Butler 321-334-655.
TOP 10 INDIVIDUALS (of 126): 1. Lisa McCloskey (USC) 73-68-141; t2. Marina Alex (Vanderbilt) 70-73-143; Maria Salinas (Florida State) 71-72-143; Lauren Stratton (Vanderbilt) 75-68-143; 5. Sophia Popov (USC) 78-68-146; t6. Brittany Altomare (Virginia) 75-72-147; Alex Buelow (Stetson) 72-75-147; Cassy Isagawa (Oregon) 75-72-147; t9. Rocio Sanchez Lobato (Georgia) 73-75-148; Paula Reto (Purdue) 71-77-148; Rachel Rohanna (Ohio State) 74-74-148.