CHAPEL HILL, N.C.- The University of North Carolina women's golf team fired a 4-over-par 292, 13-over 589 total, to tie for ninth place in the second round of the Ruth's Chris Tar Heel Invitational Saturday at UNC Finley Golf Course. Sophomore Samantha Marks led the Tar Heels by firing a 1-under-par 71 and is tied with fellow Tar Heel Katherine Perry for 22nd place at 2-over 146 after two rounds in the individual race.
"We started off poorly, and we came back, so I'm very proud of us for that," North Carolina head coach Jan Mann said. "When you dig a little hole, oftentimes you press to make up for the mistakes. The girls stayed patient and were able to bring it back. We really got going and played the front side really well."
Marks, from Maitland, Fla., carded four birdies on the day and two bogeys on the difficult back nine and one bogey on the front nine. Perry, a senior from Cary, N.C., shot two birdies and three bogeys on the back nine and 1-over on the front to finish with a 2-over 74 round. Senior Jackie Chang and sophomore Elizabeth Mallett both finished Saturday tied for 52nd place at 6-over 150. Chang is a senior from Scottsdale, Ariz. and birdied three times on the back nine, along with a bogey and two double-bogeys, before shooting an even-par front nine to finish 74 on the day. Mallett, from Sutton Coldfield, England, birdied twice and bogeyed six times to finish with a 4-over 76. Junior Maia Schechter, from Takoma Park, Md., recorded four birdies, including a birdie to finish on #9, and five bogeys, earning a 1-over 73. She is tied for 58th place with a 7-over 151 total.
Leslie Cloots, a freshman from Antwerp, Belgium, who was playing as an individual, fired back-to-back birdies on #2 and #3 but recorded five bogeys and one double-bogey to finish with a 5-over 77, 9-over 153 total. Cloots is tied for 72nd going into Sunday.
"We just really have to say focused on the shot at hand," Coach Mann said of the team going into tomorrow. "The greens are very receptive to shots, and we need to play smart. We can make a lot of birdies; we're a great team. We're a very good ball-striking team. Our putting has been good. We've just made some mistakes that have cost us, and hopefully tomorrow, that won't happen."
Ashlan Ramsey of Clemson fired a 3-under 69 to lead after the second round of play with a 7-under 137. LSU's Carolina Nistrup and Duke's Laetitia Beck stand tied in second at 4-under 140 after Nistrup shot a 5-under 67 for the lowest round of the day. Beck shot a 1-under 71. Justine Dreher from South Carolina and Celine Boutier from Duke are tied at 3-under 141. There is a four-way tie for sixth at 2-under 142: Stephanie Meadow of Alabama, Emma Talley of Alabama, Kelly Grassel of Michigan State, and Yu Liu of Duke.
Duke holds a dominant lead over the 18-team pack after the second round and looks to win their 12th team title at this event. The Blue Devils fired a blistering 6-under 282 to stand at 8-under 568 overall. Alabama is 12 strokes back at 4-over 580 after shooting a 7-under 281 team total on Saturday. Oklahoma sits at 6-over 582. Vanderbilt and Clemson are tied for fourth at 8-over 584; Vanderbilt held the first-round lead but shot an 11-over 299 round Saturday. Sixth place Mississippi stands at 9-over, seventh place Florida is at 10-over, eighth place Arkansas is at 11-over, and North Carolina and Wake Forest are tied for ninth place at 13-over.
"I think we played smart," Duke head coach Dan Brooks. "The course is playing long because it's wet, and there's some wind, so we had to play to the backs of greens and count on it checking up. We were able to think that through and not learn too late, so I think that makes a lot."
The Ruth's Chris Tar Heel Invitational will continue with the final round on Sunday, Oct. 13, at UNC Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill. The shotgun third round will begin at 9:15 a.m. on the par 72, 6,379-yard layout. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend. Live scoring is also available on GoHeels.com.