USC Jockeying For Lead At NCAA Championships Midway Point
May 21, 2008
While fierce winds forced NCAA officials to halt action twice and prevented half the teams from finishing their rounds on Wednesday (May 21), No. 2 USC finished play before the first stoppage and owns a share of first place at the blustery 2008 NCAA Women's Golf Championships at the University of New Mexico Championship G.C. in Albuquerque, N.M..
Making its 17th consecutive NCAA appearance and its 11th straight in the championship final, all under 12th-year head coach Andrea Gaston, the Women of Troy carded a collective 12-over 300. USC is tied with UCLA at 8-over 584 (284-300). The Bruins erased their five-stroke first-round deficit to USC with a 7-over 295.
Play was first suspended shortly after 1:10 p.m. MDT due to the gale-like winds not long after the Women of Troy had wrapped up their round. Many teams that started in the first wave of play were forced to wait two hours to complete their final few holes. Much of the field had to wait until after the first delay to start again at 3:15 p.m. Play was stopped again close to 5 p.m. MDT and a little more than an hour later, play was officially suspended for the day.
"These were the most difficult conditions that we have ever been in," Gaston said. "Winds were gusting about 30-40 mph they were saying.
"I told someone that we've played this course in good weather but that it does have teeth. Today, we saw its jaws.
"The girls really had to battle out there and be patient. Overall they did a good job. Obviously, we didn't play the best round but we maintained a share of the lead. Belen shot a phenomenal round in those conditions. The course played like a par 76 and her 71 was like a 66."
Teams that haven't finished their second round will resume playing at 7 a.m. MDT on Thursday (May 22). The NCAA later announced that after the second round is done, the third round will begin at 12:30 p.m. with a shotgun start. The finals are slated to revert back to the original schedule with tee times starting in the morning and concluding in the afternoon.
Sophomore Belen Mozo played as if the 25-35 mph gusts were mere breezes, carding a 1-under 71 to drop to 4-under 140 (69-71) overall. She is currently the overall leader.
Starting with the rest of the Trojans off the 10th hole, Mozo birdied her first hole as well as the 17th for a 2-under front 9. After bogeys on 2 and 4 dropped her to par, she birdied the 6th hole to get back into the red for the round.
Senior Paola Moreno followed her 2-under opening round with a 5-over second round and is tied with Endstrasser at 3-over 147 (70-77). She bogeyed the 11th, 14 and 16th holes on the way out and the 2nd and 6th holes coming in.
Freshman Lizette Salas was also 5-over on Wednesday and is tied for 48th at 6-over 150 (73-77). After a birdie on her first hole, Salas struggled with four straight bogeys and also bogeyed 17 for a 4-over front 9. She gathered herself on the back 9 and went 1-over with bogeys on 3 and 5 and a birdie on 7.
Senior Dewi Claire Schreefel had a roller coaster round that saw her struggle to balance birdies against bogeys. She finished with 10 bogeys and four birdies and finished at 7-over 151 (73-78), tied for 61st.
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