FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – All five Duke players shot under par in round two, carding a second-round total of 11-under-par 281 and a 36-hole score of 586, to take the lead at the 2019 NCAA Women’s Division I Women’s Golf Championships, played at Blessings Golf Club (par 73, 6,397 yards). Florida junior Sierra Brooks carded a 6-under-par 67 to lead the individual race.
Round two spanned two days as inclement weather forced a suspension of play just shy of the midpoint of the round. The morning wave of golfers had anywhere from seven holes to one hole left before play was halted at 12:15 p.m. on Saturday. The second round resumed at 10 a.m. Sunday.
The stroke play portion of the tournament, which was shortened to 54 holes following the weather delay on Saturday, will feature all 24 teams and 12 individuals in the final round on Monday, beginning at 7 a.m., to determine the individual champion and top eight teams to advance to match play on Tuesday.
The Blue Devils jumped from fifth to first following today’s action. Ana Belac, fourth individually with a 36-hole score of 145, led Duke with a 4-under 69 in the second round. She is followed on the leaderboard by a pair of teammates tied for fifth, Jaravee Boonchant (2-under) and Miranda Wang (-1). Gina Kim fired a 3-under 70 and jumped 26 places into a tie for 13th. Virginia Elena Carta was the big mover in round two, moving 52 spots into a tie for 43rd after a second-round score of 2-under par. This marked the first time that all five players for Duke shot under par in the same round in its 31 appearances in the NCAA championship.
Getting his team refocused to finish the second round strong after the stoppage of play on Monday wasn’t a concern for Duke head coach Dan Brooks.
“If that’s the worst of our problems, trying to keep them tuned in and ready to play, then we don’t have much a problem,” Brooks said. “We were fortunate to play early yesterday, and a day of rest in a long tournament is not a bad thing. I’m really proud of our girls.”
Duke leads the field by nine strokes with Southern California in second (595), followed by Texas (596) and Arizona (598) and Arkansas (598) tied for fourth. The “Race for Eight” will be tight tomorrow as several teams will be challenging to finish the final round of stroke play inside the top eight – and advance to match play. Stanford is sixth (604), Purdue is seventh (606), followed by Northwestern (607) at eighth and Auburn and Wake Forest are tied for ninth (608).
In the individual race, Florida’s Sierra Brooks birdied three of her last four holes, shot a 6-under-par 67 for a 36-hole total of 142 (-4) and climbed 12 spots up the leaderboard to take a one-shot lead over Arkansas’ Maria Fassi (143) and Arizona’s Bianca Pagdanganan (143).
Overall, Brooks was 3-under through 11 holes Saturday and 3-under through her final seven holes on Sunday.
“It was different from what we’re used to,” she said. “Coming back out, I was able to pick back up on my momentum, so that was nice. I’m really pleased with the way I’ve been playing and my course management has been good. I’ve been able to take advantage of the opportunities I’ve had.”
GOLF Channel’s live coverage of the championships begins tomorrow, with individual national championship coverage on air from 4-8 p.m. ET.
The Salute to Service event originally scheduled for Monday morning during the women’s championships has been cancelled due to the full field of teams and individuals in the round.
GOLF Channel NCAA Women’s Golf Championships Airtimes
Monday, May 20 Individual National Championship 4-8 p.m. ET (Live)
Tuesday, May 21 Quarterfinals, Team Match Play 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET (Live)
Tuesday, May 21 Semifinals, Team Match Play 4-8 p.m. ET (Live)
Wednesday, May 22 Team National Championship 4-8 p.m. ET (Live)