Southern Cal takes 12-shot lead in NCAA golf
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Annie Park shot a 5-under 67 and Southern California had a record-setting 12-under 276 total Wednesday to open a 12-stroke lead during the second round of the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships at the University of Georgia Golf Course.
Southern California’s 276 total, the second-best in school history, broke the NCAA tournament record of 277 set by Arizona State in 1998 at University Ridge Golf Course in Madison, Wis.
“We had four players who played extremely well today, and you normally don’t see that all happen at the same time,” Southern California coach Andrea Gaston said. “It was a record-breaking performance. We got off to a great start today, and the momentum was in our favor. We were able to keep it going.”
Southern California had a 16-under 560 overall total .
Defending champion Alabama was second after a 4-under round.
“No lead is ever big enough,” Gaston said. “You can think of a lot of different tournaments where somebody came from far behind, so you have to just take each day separately.”
Duke was third at 1 under, followed by UCLA even par, Purdue and Stanford at 2 over, Arizona State at 4 over, and Oklahoma at 6 over.
Alabama’s Stephanie Meadow topped the individual leaderboard at 8 under after a 67. Park was a stroke back.
“Today was really solid for me,” said Meadow, a junior from Northern Ireland. “I was 5 under through 10 and, even though I didn’t make much on the back nine, it was all around a really good day. The course played pretty similarly again today, but the heat is just the biggest difference. It’s a lot easier to stay hydrated and not be as tired today, and I definitely felt better in today’s round than I did yesterday.”
A handful of threesomes were on the course when play was suspended at 8 p.m. The tournament was held up late in the afternoon by a weather delay of 2 hour, 5 minutes.
Park, a freshman from Levittown, N.Y., was one of four Southern California players to break par. Freshman Kyung Kim of Chandler, Ariz., had a 69, and juniors Rachel Morris of Carlsbad, Calif., and Sophia Popov of Germany shot 70. Sophomore Doris Chen of Bradenton, Fla., had a 78, but only the top four scores count in the team total.
“It feels awesome,” Park said. “it was not expected.”
Park, the Pac-12 Championship winner who tied for first in the NCAA West Regional, said teeing off early suited her better.
“I prefer playing at 7:30,” she said. “It was less exhausting out there. The round was a lot quicker than yesterday.”
Southern California, the national champion in 2003 and 2008, has a school-record six victories this season, winning five of its past six events.
Oregon senior Hanule Sky Seo made her first hole-in-one, using a 6-iron on the 167-yard eighth hole. She finished with a 72.
Talking with reporters after the round about her ace, Seo noticed Southern California’s score.
“Did that say 16 under?” Seo asked. “They are amazing.”