Baylor women’s golf climbed three spots into second place after shooting a tournament-low 6-under-par 282 in Tuesday’s second round at the NCAA Athens (Ga.) Regional. BU sits at 2-over 578 after 36 holes at University of Georgia Golf Course.
The six lowest-scoring teams following Wednesday’s final round advance to the NCAA National Championships, which run May 19-24 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill. The Lady Bears have a 14-stroke lead over the current cut to make nationals.
No. 1 seed Alabama (-3) leads No. 5 Baylor (+2) by five strokes. No. 14 Michigan State (+5), No. 10 Clemson (+10), No. 3 Northwestern (+12) and No. 8 Tennessee (+12) round out the current six teams above the cut line. No. 2 Georgia (+16) is four strokes back of the cut, followed by No. 4 Arizona (+19), No. 11 Augusta (+20), No. 9 North Carolina (+23), No. 16 Princeton (+27), No. 12 Auburn (+27), No. 7 UCF (+27), No. 13 Kansas State (+31), No. 6 Wake Forest (+34), No. 15 Troy (+37), No. 17 North Florida (+42) and No. 18 Quinnipiac (+73).
Baylor’s 6-under 282 was the fourth-lowest NCAA Tournament round in program history, and the three better rounds were during Baylor’s only regional championship at the 2015 San Antonio (Texas) Regional.
Freshman Fiona Liddell trimmed 11 strokes off her first round score, shooting 4-under 68 in Tuesday’s second round to climb 41 spots on the leaderboard into a tie for 26th place at 3-over 147. Junior Amy Lee carded a 3-under 69 to move up eight spots into a tie for third place at 3-under 141, three strokes back of the individual leader, Wake Forest’s Jennifer Kupcho (-6).
Redshirt sophomore Dylan Kim shot 1-under 71 to move up 10 spots into a tie for 20th place at 2-over 146, and senior Maggie Beth Byers fired a 2-over 74 and is tied for 26th place at 3-over 147. Sophomore Maria Vesga is tied for 46th place at 8-over 152 following a second consecutive 4-over 76.
Baylor’s 6-under 282 was the fourth-best NCAA Tournament round in program history.
BU’s 282 tied Clemson’s second round for the best score out of 36 team rounds played on the first two days at the NCAA Athens Regional.
Fiona Liddell’s 4-under 68 tied the seventh-best NCAA Tournament round in program history and trailed only Dylan Kim’s 67 at the 2015 San Antonio Regional for best NCAA Tournament round by a Baylor freshman.
Liddell’s 4-under 68 was also her best collegiate round, topping the 3-under 69s she carded at the Dick McGuire Invitational and Ping/ASU Invitational.
Amy Lee’s 3-under 69 tied the 10th-best NCAA Tournament round in BU history.
Baylor is the only team with four golfers among the top 30 individuals in the 96-player field. Lee is tied for third, Kim is tied for 20th and Byers and Liddell are tied for 26th place.
STAT OF THE DAY
8 – Baylor players combined to make eight birdies and shoot 6-under-par over the final four holes in Tuesday’s second round. Lee finished with three birdies over her final four holes, Kim birdied No. 15, and Liddell and Byers both birdied Nos. 15 and 18.
TOP QUOTE I
Head coach Jay Goble …
“I’m very pleased with how we played today. It’s really cool to see some people start to come around and play up their potential. I’ve said all year long we have an outstanding team talent-wise, we just need to put it all together at the same time. The big thing for tomorrow is to continue to play our games and control what we can control. We can’t control what other people are doing, we can’t control that scoreboard, so let’s not look at it because it doesn’t really mean anything until this time tomorrow. Let’s go out tomorrow, play our games and hit every shot as well as we can hit it. We had a great round today that put us in a good position, and I’m confident that if we play our game tomorrow we’re going to be fine.”
TOP QUOTE II
Junior Amy Lee …
“It always feel great to have a strong finish. I think my ball striking was a bit more consistent today than yesterday. I just hit it close and converted the putts, nothing really felt too special today in my round, but I scrambled well. It would be a huge honor to win the individual title, but I can’t think about that. I just have to play my own game and not worry about where anyone else is out on the course.”
TOP QUOTE III
Freshman Fiona Liddell …
“It feels great. I played really well on my second nine yesterday, so I had a good feeling starting this round. I started out with my only bogey today, and I still felt pretty comfortable. I hit a lot of greens and had a lot of birdie chances, and I just told myself to stay patient on these greens. I was happy at the end and tomorrow I’m just going to continue where I stopped.”
Baylor will play with No. 1 seed Alabama and No. 14 seed Michigan State in the last pairing off the first tee for Wednesday’s final round. Vesga is up first at 8:12 a.m. CT, and she’ll be followed in nine-minute intervals by Byers, Liddell, Kim and Lee, respectively. Live scoring is available at www.GolfStat.com. Follow @BaylorWGolf on Twitter and Facebook for updates throughout the season.