May 24, 2001
HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Fla. - The University of Arizona women's golf team tallied a 296 Thursday and continued its climb up the leaderboard during the third round of the 2001 NCAA Women's Golf Championships.
The Wildcats' total of 899 (+35) puts the team in a tie for eighth place in the 24-team field. UA's third-round total was its best effort to date at the 2001 NCAA Championships, but the team still lost six strokes to the tournament leader. Duke carded a 290 (+2) Thursday to take over sole possession of the lead at 882 (+18), two strokes ahead of Georgia. Auburn and Texas are tied for fourth place at 888 (+24), while Oklahoma State rounds out the top five at 892. The top-ranked Blue Devils carded the lowest team total of the third round and are just seven strokes over par in the last 36 holes.
"It's a little frustrating to be so close and not to have put together a better round," said head coach Greg Allen. "It's been a learning experience for us. We're going to go out and play as well as we can tomorrow. There are a lot of teams bunched up at the top and hopefully something can break our way."
Freshman Lorena Ochoa continues to lead the Wildcats. The nation's top-ranked individual fired an even-par 72 Thursday to remain tied for sixth place at 216 (E). Ochoa remains in contention for individual medalist honors as she picked up two strokes on the lead Thursday. She is four shots off the pace set by Louisiana State's Katy Harris, who carded a two-under-par 70 (-2) to move into the lead by one stroke with a 212 (-4) total. Nine players are within five strokes of the lead heading into Friday's final round.
UA's Natalie Gulbis posted a two-under 70 Thursday to move into a tie for 37th place at 225 (+9). It was Gulbis' first sub-par round of the tournament and moved her up 33 places on the leaderboard. Laura Myerscough continued her steady pace, tallying a 78 (+6) to tie for 60th place at 230 (+14). Teammates Anne Lee and Cristina Baena are tied for 77th place overall at 234 (+18). Lee and Baena posted scores of 79 and 76, respectively.
The 2001 NCAA Championship is being contested at the El Campeon Course at the Mission Inn Golf and Tennis Resort. The course is a par 72, 6,119-yard layout. The NCAA Championships continue through Friday.