AUSTIN, Texas – A tightly-packed leaderboard and several teams fighting for a trip to nationals await the No. 19 Auburn women’s golf team in Wednesday’s final round of the NCAA Austin Regional.
After a second round Tuesday that saw the Tigers improve by one shot over their first-round total, Auburn is among a group of eight teams within nine shots of one another fighting for the final four spots in next week’s NCAA Championships. The top six teams after 54 holes advance.
The Tigers shot 291 (+3) as a team today and are at 583 (+7) for the tournament and in eighth place. But they are just two shots back of a four-way tie for fourth place. And with their current placement, they get another early tee time Wednesday with a chance to attack the UT Golf Club under more favorable conditions.
“We hung in there,” Auburn head coach Melissa Luellen said. “We made some birdies on the first few holes and played pretty solid through nine. But we made a lot of bogeys, in particular on the last four holes. I’m not really thrilled with the finish. But we’re in the hunt, and that’s all you can ask for. It’s going to be such a dogfight tomorrow that we can’t play scared. We have to play smart, make good decisions and good golf swings. And hopefully some putts will fall.”
Hualde got off to a hot start, making birdies on three of her first four holes, and made the turn at 2-under. She got back to 3-under with birdie at the 14th, but gave two shots back coming in. Telfer had two birdies and two bogeys on the front nine to turn at even par, and she was bogey-free through her final 11 holes with a birdie at 13 to finish off a 1-under day.
Senior Kelli Murphy turned in a 1-over-par 73, placing her just one shot back of Hualde and Telfer at 1-over for the week and tied for 24th place. After a bogey at the first hole, Murphy was steady through her next 13 with 12 pars and a birdie to get back to even par. A pair of bogeys sandwiched a birdie at No. 16, and she finished at 1-over.
Arkansas (-21) and Texas (-10) have pulled away from the field for the top two spots, but the final four spots are very much up for grabs. Florida is in third place at 2-over, and Baylor, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma and Texas A&M are all tied at 5-over.
The final round of NCAA Regional play gets underway at 8 a.m. CT Wednesday. Auburn will play with Texas A&M and Michigan State, beginning on the No. 1 tee. Live scoring is available at golfstat.com, and fans can follow @AuburnWGolf on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for updates from the course.
Second-round results from the NCAA Austin Regional, hosted by Texas at the University of Texas Golf Club (par 72, 6,341 yards) in Austin, Texas:
1. Arkansas – 555 (-21)
2. Texas – 566 (-10)
3. Florida – 578 (+2)
T4. Baylor – 581 (+5)
T4. Virginia Tech – 581 (+5)
T4. Oklahoma – 581 (+5)
T4. Texas A&M – 581 (+5)
8. Auburn – 583 (+7)
T9. Michigan State – 587 (+11)
T9. BYU – 587 (+11)
11. UTSA – 593 (+17)
12. Houston – 597 (+21)
13. Texas Tech – 599 (+23)
14. Houston Baptist – 600 (+24)
15. Miami – 604 (+28)
16. Georgetown – 606 (+30)
17. Missouri State – 638 (+62)
--. East Carolina (WD)