By Jason Elmquist
ATHENS, Ga. —
The Oklahoma State women’s golf team couldn’t do much moving in the second round of the NCAA Division I National Championship on Wednesday.
The Cowgirls’ top three golfers for the week saw improvement from the opening round, but their top golfer Kelsey Vines — who came into the event ranked as the fourth-best college golfer by Golfweek.com — followed her 76 with an 80, same score as fellow Cowgirl Lauren Falley.
“In team golf, you really need everybody,” said OSU coach Alan Bratton, whose team sits in 22nd out of 24 teams competing. “... Collectively, we’ve got to do better. But it would be nice for Kelsey and Lauren to go out (Thursday) and get us jump-started and the other three are already close to putting up some good numbers. So you never know what we’ll be able to do.”
Freshman Julie Yang improved by two strokes from her first round with an even-par 72 and stands in a tie for 29th heading into the final two rounds.
Juniors Jayde Panos and Josephine Janson shot a pair of 74s on Wednesday, with Panos standing in a tie for 60th at 149 and Janson improving by four shots and into a tie for 91st.
“Today was better. That’s the day you want to take advantage of the morning tee time, when the greens are a little bit softer and there wasn’t any wind,” Bratton said. “But those three girls put up decent numbers. Jayde and Josephine had to fight back to get to their scores, so I was really pleased with that. And Julie is playing very well and hopefully she can put up some really good numbers the next couple of days — and same with the other girls.”
The University of Southern California holds pat atop the team leaderboard by 12 strokes over Alabama. The Crimson Tide have the top individual in Stephanie Meadow, who holds a one-stroke lead of USC’s Annie Park.
Though the Cowgirls sit well off the pace of the leaders, the pressure is squarely off the OSU team who came in ranked 16th in the country by Golfweek.com and had no golfers with experience at the NCAA tournament.
“We really had nothing to lose coming in this week and there is still half the tournament to go, so we’re certainly not out of the opportunity of a solid finish,” Bratton said. “But obviously we’ve got to do better than what we’ve been doing. The field is showing that low numbers are out there, but maybe the next couple of days will be our days.”