May 22, 2002
SEATTLE, Wash.-Arizona remained in first place Wednesday at the NCAA Women's Golf Championships after shooting a second-round team total of 8-over-par 296. The Wildcats' 36-hole score of 581 is the squad's second best mark of the season. Individually, Lorena Ochoa lurks in third place, just three strokes off the lead.
"We didn't play as well as I hoped we would, but fortunately we still have the lead," said second-year head coach Greg Allen. "We're just going to turn our attention towards the final two rounds and try to post some low numbers. This tournament is going to be a battle right down to the wire."
By shooting 296, Arizona now stands with a six stroke lead over second-place Duke who completed the second round at 11-over-par after rounds of 294 on Tuesday and 293 on Wednesday. Oklahoma and defending champion Georgia share third place after the Sooners shot 289 (+1) Wednesday and the Bulldogs shot 294 (+6) to stand at 12-over-par for the tournament. Arizona (200), Duke (1999) and Georgia (2001) have combined to win the last three women's golf national championships. Florida holds down fifth place at 13-over-par 589.
Ochoa carded a second-round 69, her 12th round of the season in the 60s. Her 3-under-par 69 places her three shots back of rounds one and two leader Virada Nirapathpongporn of Duke who stands at 7-under-par 137. Ochoa and Nirapathpongporn both shot identical second-round scores of 69.
"I played a lot more consistently today" Ochoa said after Wednesday's second round. "I was around the hole every single time and didn't make any bogeys, just three birdies. I want to play more aggressive tomorrow."
Winner of eight tournaments this season, Ochoa played a bogey-free round Wednesday as she made 15 pars and birdies on holes no. 6, 13 and 17. With two rounds remaining in the season, Ochoa's stroke average sits at exactly 70.00, well below her record-setting mark of 71.33 from her freshman year.
Laura Myerscough, fresh off a career-best round of 70 in Tuesday's first round, came back with a strong round of 1-over-par 73. Her two-day total of 143 is a career-best mark for 36-hole score. The junior Charleston, Ill., is locked in a three-way tie for ninth place.
Kraschinski rebounded from an opening-round of 77 by shooting a 3-over-par 75 Wednesday. Her stroke average for the season is 78.26. Senior Cristina Baena, the most experienced member of the Arizona team, carded a second-round 79 to bring her 36-hole score to 152 (+10). Freshman Mar Garcia shot 9-over-par 81 Wednesday.
Arizona will play the third round with Duke and Oklahoma Thursday. The squads' tee-times begin at 1:10 p.m. and run until 1:50 p.m. on the 10th tee.