Alabama Women's Golf increases lead at NCAA Regional
The top-seeded Alabama women's golf team extended its team lead to 14 shots on Friday in the second round of the NCAA East Regional Championship at the par-72, 6,259-yard Auburn University Club.
The Crimson Tide matched the program's lowest round in NCAA tournament play – a record set on Thursday – with another 11-under-par 277, which also matches the lowest round of the season and the second-lowest round in school history. Alabama is 22-under 554 after 36 holes of play, which is the second-lowest 36-hole total in school history.
"It was pretty solid," Alabama head coach Mic Potter said of his team's play on Friday. "Jennifer Kirby had a bogey-free 66, so we have had three bogey-free rounds this week, which is always nice. Stephanie (Meadow) and Jen (Kirby) are both All-Americans and they have done great things in junior and college golf, so they are comfortable in these situations. They had scoring opportunities today. The greens are pretty similar to what we have been practicing on, so I think they are fairly comfortable."
Tulane shot 3-under 285 on Friday for an 8-under total of 568 to seize second place. Arkansas shot 6-over 294 in round two and is tied with Oklahoma State for third at 1-over 577. Texas is fifth after two rounds at 4-over 530. North Carolina is sixth at 582 with host Auburn seventh at 7-over 583 after a 4-under 284 on Friday. UCLA and Tennessee are tied for eighth at 10-over 586.
The top eight finishers at the NCAA East Regional will advance to the NCAA Championships at the University of Georgia Golf Course on May 21-24 in Athens, Ga.
The Crimson Tide have three players among the top two individuals with Stephanie Meadow holding the individual lead at 10-under 134, which ties the school's 36-hole record. Jennifer Kirby and Emma Talley are tied for second at 6-under 138.
Meadow and Kirby led the way on Friday with a pair of matching 6-under-par 66s. Meadow recorded her second straight bogey-free round with six-red circles on her scorecard, posting birdies on the first, fourth, fifth, seventh, 13th and 16th holes. She has 10 birdies and no bogeys through 36 holes. The 66 matches the lowest round of Meadow's career and the 10-under 134 equals the individual 36-hole record at Alabama.
"I played really well," Meadow said. "My putter caught fire and I made a lot of long ones. Everything just went my way."
Kirby, a senior from Paris, Ontario, also posted a bogey-free round with six birdies, coming on the fourth, fifth, seventh, eighth, 13th and 16th holes. The 66 ties Kirby's lowest round at Alabama.
Talley, who held the opening-round lead after a 67 on Thursday, shot 1-under 71 on Friday to join Kirby in a tie for second. Talley, who began her round on the backside, played her opening-nine holes in 1-over but played her closing nine in 2-under with birdies on the third and eighth holes.
Sophomore Daniela Lendl was the Crimson Tide's fourth counting score in round two with a 2-over 74. Hannah Collier's score of 3-over 75 was dropped from the team total.
Alabama will play with Tulane and Arkansas in the final round. Tee times have been moved up 30 minutes for Saturday's final round due to weather and the Crimson Tide are scheduled to tee off at 8 a.m. on the first tee.