Louth leads Women's Golf after 54 holes at NCAA Championship
May 21, 2009
On the aid of consistent ball striking and steady putting, Louth played the first 11 holes of the Caves Valley Golf Course without a single blemish on her scorecard. She found her lone birdie opportunity on the 12th hole, as she used her 7-iron on the par-3 tee box to land her ball 15 feet from the hole. Louth regained a stroke on the following hole when she pulled her approach shot and eventually missed a 15-foot par putt. She came within inches of saving par on the 16th hole, as her chip shot on the par-4 hit the flagstick and left her with a tap-in for bogey. Louth finished the day at 2-over - her lowest round thus far at the NCAA Championship - after two putting from 30 feet for bogey on the final hole.
Louth played the No. 3 position in UT's lineup on Thursday morning at the Caves Valley Golf Course, but improved to the top of the order with a team-best, 54-hole score of 16-over 232 that ties her for 57th place.
Freshman Nicole Vandermade (80-76-79=235, +19) carded her second-consecutive round in the 70s with a 7-over 79 and is tied for 80th place with teammate Shannon Fish (74-79-82=235, +19). Senior Kristin Walla (82-79-78=239, +23) recorded her lowest score of the championship with a 6-over 78 and is tied for 102nd at 23-over. Senior Caney Hines (79-86-88=253, +37) rounds out UT's lineup at 37-over and in 121st place.
Two teams are within three strokes of 54-hole leader Southern California (301-295-294=890, +26), as Arizona State (302-298-291=891) trails by one at 27-over and UCLA (296-293-304=893) is three back at 29-over.
The Trojans' Jennifer Song (72-73-71=216) is atop the individual leaderboard at even-par 216. Purdue's Maria Hernandez (74-72-72=218) and UCLA's Maria Jose Uribe (75-66-77=218) are tied for runner-up at 2-over.
Texas will join Ohio State and UC Irvine on the 10th tee at 7:30 a.m. (ET) Friday morning for the NCAA Championship final round.
On looking ahead to Friday's final round: I'm excited about tomorrow. I think this group has done a great job all year. I'm proud of our seniors and how hard they've been working, as well as Shannon (Fish) and Nicole (Vandermade). For these seniors to end their careers by making it to nationals two years in a row, and for Shannon and Nicole to use these experiences as building blocks for the future - that excites me.
On having three different low scorers in three rounds: Having three different low scorers in as many rounds tells me that we're capable of more. As a coaching staff, we truly believe in this team, and we believe that they're more talented than their scores are showing. However, at the end of the day, it's up to each player to post the low numbers we're looking for. I'm hopeful that tomorrow we'll end on a really good note.
On the play of senior Kelley Louth: Kelley has been pretty consistent all week with her ball striking. Today, she really did a good job of competing on all 18 holes and she found her comfort zone on this course. Her score today reflects that she's really starting to `get' this course.