Women's Golf Moves to Eighth Place at NCAA Championship
RESULTS | PHOTO
Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla., May 12, 2011 – The Washington University in St. Louis women’s golf team moved into the top-10 in the team standings after firing a 327 (+35) on day three of the 2011 NCAA Division III Championship held at the Mission Inn Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.
Washington University has improved on its score the last two days, and shattered the Bears’ all-time low at the NCAA Championship by 16 strokes. The Bears hold a three-day score of 1,014 (344-343-327), and now sit in a tie for eighth place in the overall team standings with Williams College.
Methodist University, who is seeking its 14th-straight and 24th overall NCAA Division III Women's Golf Championship, shot a 328 (+36) on day three to hold onto a 13-stroke lead over Gustavus Adolphus College. Methodist’s Paige Caldwell leads the individual standings with a three-day score of 231 (77-76-78).
“It all started with the beginning of our round today. We got off to a good start, and got some confidence,” said third-year head coach Sean Curtis. “The pressure was off today, and this is what we are capable of doing.”
Consistent play up and down the lineup was the key for Washington University en route to shooting its lowest round in NCAA Tournament play the last two years. All four scores that counted were at 85 or better, with sophomore Hannah Buck and freshman Andrea Hibbert each shooting an 80 (+7).
Buck recorded her third-straight round of 80 or better on Thursday, only one of three players in the field to achieve the feat. She made the turn at three-over 39 after birdying the eighth hole, and fired a 41 on the back with a double bogey on 18. Buck sits in sole possession of third place with a score of 239 (79-80-80), and is eight shots off the lead entering the final round.
Hibbert started the day tied for 19th place, and improved on that with her low round of the tournament. She made the turn at one-over 37 after birdying both par fives on the front nine, but had four bogeys and a double bogey on the back to close with a 43. Hibbert sits in a tie for 12th place with a three-day total of 246 (81-85-80).
A pair of freshman, Marcy Koonce and Allyson Chee, stepped up big for the Bears on day three with their best round of the championship. Koonce fired an 82 (+9) with 10 pars, seven bogeys and a double bogey, while Chee shot a 41 on the front and a 44 on the back for an 85 (+12). Koonce cracked the top-50 and sits in a five-way tie for 49th place with a 259 (89-88-82), while Chee is in 83rd place with a three-day score of 271 (95-91-85).
“I hit the ball better today, and my entire game improved,” said Koonce. “I struggled yesterday with my shots, and today I was much more consistent. The team is more confident heading into the final round, and our confidence is high.”
“Marcy and Allyson found their comfort level today, and now know what they need to do know,” Curtis added. “There was no hesitation, they executed their shots, and the swings looked great. This is a big turning point for Marcy and Allyson, and I think they feel good where they are at heading into the final round.”
Sophomore Melanie Walsh fired a 94 on day three and is in 97th place with a 291 (107-90-94).
Washington University tees off at 12:30 p.m. (ET), on Friday for the final round of the 2011 NCAA Division III Championship.
Bear Notebook: Washington U.’s score of 327 was the lowest in seven rounds of NCAA Championship play in school history, and the third lowest team score of day three. … The Bears sat in 19th place after day three a year ago … Koonce’s 82 was the second lowest round of her career.