PINEHURST, N.C. – Junior Kelli Murphy matched the second-lowest round in Auburn history Monday, and both she and the Auburn women’s golf team are in second place through 36 holes at the Pinehurst Challenge.
Murphy posted a 7-under-par 65 in the morning round at historic Pinehurst No. 1 (par 72, 5,974 yards), one stroke shy of the Auburn team record. Her opening round gave her a five-shot tournament lead through 18 holes, and she followed that up with a 1-over 73 and is currently in second place, one shot back of the leader.
As a team, Auburn posted rounds of 288-294=582 (+6) and finished the day in second place, 10 shots back of tournament leader East Carolina. The Tigers held the lead after an even-par first round, but the Pirates shot 11-under in the afternoon to head into Tuesday’s final round with the top spot.
Murphy carded eight birdies in the opening round to set the pace for the tournament field. Starting on the third hole with a shotgun start, she was even through four holes with a birdie and a bogey, but then she went on a tear, recording birdies on four of the next five holes to get to 4-under. Two more birdies at 16 and 18 moved her to 6-under, and a closing birdie at the second gave her a collegiate-best round and a place in the Auburn record book. Murphy came back with three birdies in her second round but also had two bogeys and a double-bogey to post a 73, leaving her at 6-under through two rounds.
Murphy’s 36-hole total of 138 is also a career-best, the lowest for an Auburn player since 2010, and tied for the fourth-best in program history.
Junior Michaela Owen continued her strong play as well, carding a 1-under 71 in the morning for her fourth consecutive round under par. She followed that up with a 2-over 74 in the second round and heads into Tuesday tied for ninth, seeking her second straight top-10 finish.
The final round gets underway Tuesday morning. Live scoring is available at golfstat.com, and fans can follow @AuburnWGolf on Twitter and Instagram for the latest on Auburn women’s golf.
First- and second-round results from the Pinehurst Challenge, hosted by College of Charleston at Pinehurst No. 1 (par 72, 5,974 yards) in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
2. Kelli Murphy – 65-73=138 (-6)
T9. Michaela Owen – 71-74=145 (+1)
T40. Kayley Marschke – 77-73=150 (+6)
T40. Mai Dechathipat – 76-74=150 (+6)
*T60. Clara Baena – 74-79=153 (+9)
T68. Elena Hualde – 76-78=154 (+10)
*competing as an individual; score does not count toward team total
1. East Carolina – 572 (-4)
2. Auburn – 582 (+6)
3. Samford – 583 (+7)
4. Wichita State – 585 (+9)
T5. Kennesaw State – 591 (+15)
T5. Maryland – 591 (+15)
T5. College of Charleston – 591 (+15)
T8. North Florida – 594 (+18)
T8. Charleston Southern – 594 (+18)
10. Elon – 596 (+20)
11. James Madison – 600 (+24)
T12. Morehead State – 602 (+26)
T12. Jacksonville State – 602 (+26)
14. High Point – 604 (+28)
15. Stetson – 607 (+31)
16. Georgia State – 608 (+32)
17. UNC Greensboro – 616 (+40)
18. William & Mary – 621 (+45)