AUSTIN, Texas -- The University of Texas women's golf team moved from eighth to fifth-place after posting the fourth-lowest score Friday (a nine-over par 297) in second round play at the NCAA Central Regional Championships, being contested on UT's home course, the UT Golf Club in northwest Austin. The top eight teams from the three-day Central Regionals, which conclude on Saturday, May 10, will advance to the upcoming NCAA Championships.
Leading the competition is No. 2 UCLA which is playing at even par after two rounds of the three-day, three-round tourney. UCLA has a two-day total score of 576. UCLA was among the teams (along with Texas) playing in blistering afternoon heat with the temperatures soaring to the upper 90's.
UCLA holds a six-stroke edge over No. 6 Purdue (+6, 582), as the Boilermakers had the second-lowest round of the day with a 294 to go with their 288 on Thursday. TCU, ranked No. 30, is three strokes behind Purdue with a two-day total of 585 (+9).
The tourney concludes with final round play on Saturday, May 10 at the UTGC, with the top six teams teeing off early (8 a.m. starts off tees one and 10). There is no admission to the Central Regionals. Texas will begin its final round of competition Saturday at 8:10 a.m. from the 10th tee.
Saturday's third and final round figures to be a highly-contested battle for those eight team spots, as only 16 strokes separate fifth-place Texas from No. 16 Pepperdine which sits in 15th place.
There are 21 teams and three individual golfers competing. The top eight team finishers and top two individuals not playing on the eight qualifying teams will earn bids to compete at the 2008 NCAA Championships which takes place Tuesday-Friday, May 20-23 in Albuquerque, N.M., at the University of New Mexico Championship Golf Course.
The Longhorns carded a nine-over par 297, two strokes better than their opening round of 299, and moved up three spots in the team standings to fifth. For the second day in a row, head coach Martha Richards' charges were led by senior Ashley Rollins and sophomore Shannon Fish. Both had two-over par 74's after each scored a 73 the day earlier. Rollins (Austin, Texas/Westwood HS) finished strong by notching back-to-back birdies on her finishing holes, both par four's. She played the back nine in two-under 34.
Fish (Spring, Texas/Klein Oak HS) was two-over par at the turn, but played even over the last nine holes. After a bogey-six on the 14th, Fish registered a birdie on the next hole and played even par over the last three holes to finish with her two-over 74.
The Longhorns also were aided by a two-over 74 from junior Kristin Walla (Aspen, Colo./Aspen HS) as the third-year player cut five strokes off her first-day score. Walla played the back nine at one-under 35 with eight pars and a birdie.
Rollins and Fish are among four players tied for 18th in the individual standings at three-over par 147.
After posting a five-under 283 to lead after Thursday's first round, UCLA came back and played five-over par golf Friday, totaling the best round of the day with a 293. The Bruins were led by junior Tiffany Joh and freshman Maria Jose Uribe, the defending U.S. Amateur champion. Joh played two-under par 70 golf Friday and stands one-under (143) for the tourney. Uribe, the 2007 U.S. Amateur champion, was the first-round leader after scorching the field with a course-record seven-under 65 on Thursday. She had a one-over 73 Friday.
The Central Regional individual leader through two rounds is TCU sophomore Valentine Derrey. Derry, third after the first round, sits atop the leader board after posting a two-day total of a seven-under 137. Derry had a two-under 70 on Friday, tying for the lowest round of the day, which complemented her five-under 67 first-round score.
Derrey holds a one-stroke lead over UCLA's Uribe (-6, 138), while Purdue junior Maria Hernandez is third at five-under (139). Two golfers are tied for fourth, and both are playing as individuals. Coastal Carolina sophomore Aruka Felgueroso and College of Charleston junior Steffi Kirchmayr are both four shots back of Derrey in a two-way tie for fourth (at -3, 141 total score).
Rounding out the Texas scores Friday were Caney Hines who had a three-over 75, and senior Julia Best with a 78. In the overall individual standings, Hines (San Antonio, Texas/Reagan HS) is tied for 37th (151,+7), with Walla following in a tie for 48th (153, +9) and Best (Bulverde, Texas/Smithson Valley HS) in a tie for 63rd (155, +11).
2008 NCAA Central Regional Championship
at The University of Texas Golf Club, Austin, Texas
Par 72, 6,301 yards
Second Round Team Results - Friday, May 9
Top 15 Teams
1. UCLA E (283-293=576)
2. Purdue +6 (288-294=582)
3. TCU +9 (285-300=585)
4. Denver +14 (292-298=590)
5. TEXAS +20 (299-297=596)
6. Alabama +21 (304-293-597)
(t) Texas A&M +21 (295-302=597)
8. Nebraska +24 (294-306=600)
9. LSU +26 (300-302=602)
10. Kent State +28 (305-299=604)
(t) N.C. State +28 (300-304=604)
12. Florida State +29 (298-307=605)
13. Texas Tech +30 (307-299=606)
14. East Tennessee St. +33 (307-302=609)
15. Pepperdine +36 (304-308=612)
Note: The top eight teams advance to the NCAA Championships, plus top two individuals from non-qualifying teams.
Top 10 Individual Leaderboard - Friday, May 9
Name (School) Score
1. Valentine Derrey (TCU) -7 (67-70=137)
2. Maria Jose Uribe (UCLA) -6 (65-73=138)
3. Maria Hernandez (Purdue) -5 (66-xx-)
4. Aruka Felgueroso* (Coastal Carolina) -3 (70-71=141)
(t) Steffi Kirchmayr* (Coll. Charleston) -3 (71-70=141)
6. Lauren Doughtie (NC State) -2 (69-73=142)
7. Tiffany Joh (UCLA) -1 (73-70=143)
(t) Caroline Westrup (Florida St) -1 (70-73=143)
9. Stephanie Derrey (N.C. State) E (73-71=144)
(t) Katie Kempter (Denver) E (70-74=144)
11. Linn Gustafsson (Texas State) +1 (74-71=145)
(t) JC Stevenson (Nebraska) +1 (73-72=145)
13. Christel Boeljon (Purdue) +2 (71-75=146)
(t) Allyson Ferguson (TCU) +2 (71-75=146)
(t) Megan McChrystal (LSU) +2 (73-73=146)
(t) Stephanie Sherlock (Denver) +2 (74-72=146)
(t) Maiya Tanaka (UCLA) +2 (73-73=146)
* playing as an individual
18(t). Ashley Rollins (Texas) +3 (73-74=147)
18(t). Shannon Fish (Texas) +3 (73-74=147)
37(t). Caney Hines (Texas) +7 (76-75=151)
48(t). Kristin Walla (Texas) +9 (79-74=153)
63(t). Julia Best (Texas) +11 (77-78=155)
· With the temperatures soaring to the upper 90's at the sun-drenched UT Golf Club on Friday afternoon, the average score was a 77.45, just slightly up from Thursday's first round average score (76.77) played under sunny (mid-80's) and little wind on the course.
· Three of the top eight teams in the standings entering Saturday's final round were seeded 10th,11th and 18th to start NCAA Central Regional play ... TCU, seeded 11th in the 21-team field, sits in third place, nine strokes behind leader UCLA (the No. 1 seed in the region and the nation's No. 2 ranked squad) ... Texas, under first-year head coach Martha Richards, is fifth ... The Longhorns were seeded 10th ... Nebraska came in as the No. 18 seed, but the Huskers currently are eighth in the standings.
· The Derrey sisters (sophomore Valentine Derrey of TCU) and senior Stephanie Derry of N.C. State, both moved up on the individual leaderboard after Friday's second round ... Valentine Derry is the current leader at seven-under 137, moving up from third after round one ... Stephanie Derry carded a one-under 71 Thursday for a two-day total of seven-par 144 ... She moved from a tie for 18th after the first one into a tie for ninth ... In Thursday's first round, Valentine Derrey tied a TCU record for a low individual round (67), while the Horned Frogs' 285 was the second-best score in school history.
· Two of the three golfers who are playing as individuals at the Central Regionals are producing impressive numbers and both are currently tied for fourth place on the individual leaderboard ... The top two individuals who are not part of the eight qualifying teams will advance to the NCAA national competition, and both Coastal Carolina sophomore Aruka Felgueroso and College of Charleston junior Steffi Kirchmayr have positioned themselves well for a run at those two spots ... They are both four shots back of Derrey in a two-way tie for fourth (at -3, 141 total score) entering Saturday's final round ... Ironically, Felgueroso is ranked No. 184 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings -- the lowest-ranked player among the NCAA regional individual qualifiers by 50 spots.