AUBURN, ALA. - The University of North Carolina's 11th-ranked women's golf team fired a 4-over-par 292 in the second round of the NCAA East Regional and is in sixth place going into Saturday's final round. Freshman Elizabeth Mallett fired a 2-under 70 while junior Jackie Chang shot an even par 72.
"The team hung tough today, particularly Elizabeth who had a rough start," says Tar Heel head coach Jan Mann. "Jackie had another solid round and bounced back from a few bogeys in the beginning. It will be a tight race tomorrow, but we are very confident in our Tar Heels."
Chang, from Scottsdale, Ariz., carded three birdies and three bogeys en route to her even par 72. She is alone in sixth place with a 4-under-par 140 total. Mallett had a rough start with a double bogey on hole #1 and a bogey on #3. But she turned it around with five birdies the rest of the way to score a 2-under 70 in the second round. The native of Sutton Coldfield, England, enters the final round tied for 17th place at even par 144. Juniors Casey Grice and Katherine Perry both carded a 3-over 75 on Friday. Grice, from College Station, Texas, stands tied for 21st with a 1-over 145 total while Perry, from Cary, N.C., has a 153 total and is tied for 81st. Maia Schechter, a sophomore from Takoma Park, Md., carded a 79 on Friday for a 158 total and is tied for 102nd.
Top-seed Alabama fired a sizzling 11-under-par 277 for the second consecutive day and leads the field of 24 teams with a scorching 22-under 554 total. Tulane fired a 3-under 285 on Friday and is in second place with an 8-under 568 total. Arkansas and Oklahoma State are tied for third place at 1-over 577 while Texas is fifth at 4-over 580 and North Carolina is sixth at 6-over 582. Auburn is in seventh place at 7-over 583 while UCLA and Tennessee are tied for eighth place at 586 and Northwestern is 10th at 580.
Stephanie Meadow of Alabama fired a 6-under 66 in the second round to grab the individual lead with a 10-under 134 total. Another Alabama player, Jennifer Kirby, also shot a 6-under 66 and is tied for second place with teammate Emma Talley at 6-under 138. Tulane Madison Opfer and Princeton's Kelly Shon are tied for fourth place at 5-under 139 while Carolina's Chang is alone in sixth place at 4-under 140 and Tulsa's Shu-Yin Liu and Texas' Madison Pressel are tied for seventh place at 3-under 141. Six players are deadlocked in ninth place at 2-under 142.
The final round of the 54-hole event will be played Saturday at Auburn University Club which features a par 72, 6,259-yard layout. The top eight teams and top two individuals not on those eight teams will advance on to the NCAA Championships to be played May 21-24 at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga. Due to Saturday's impending weather issues, tee times will begin at 7 a.m. instead of 7:30. The Tar Heels will begin teeing off the 10th tee at 9 a.m. EDT. Live scoring is available on GoHeels.com and Golfstat.com.