May 20, 2004
The second-ranked UCLA women's golf team will take a five-shot lead Friday into the final round of the NCAA Championships at Auburn National Golf Course in Opelika, AL
The Bruins posted a round of 286 (-2) Thursday, and boast a 54-hole total of 858, six-under par. They lead second-place Oklahoma State by five shots. The Cowgirls fired a six-under par round of 282 and have a three-round total of 863. Top-ranked Duke is third at 865, one-over par. The Blue Devils carded a four-over par team score of 292.
"Being in the lead heading into [the final round] doesn't change our game plan," said Head Coach Carrie Forsyth. "Whatever position we're in, we're going to look forward to a hard-fought round.
"I think we are comfortable with a lead," she continued. "We feel good being in this position. I actually felt calm out there, and I think the girls are calm too."
UCLA sophomore Susie Mathews remained atop the leaderboard at 208, eight-under par. Her 54-hole total was one shot off the school record after she posted a four-under par 68 in the third round. She is tied with Oklahoma State's Karin Sjodin.
Mathews, who bogeyed her first hole (the 10th) in the second round, birdied that hole Thursday to begin her round.
"It's always great to start your round off with a birdie," she said. "I sank a 15-foot putt that was downhill but fairly straight.
"This has been a team effort all along this year," she added. "Others have been able to step up at key moments to help this team win."
Junior Charlotte Mayorkas posted a second straight one-under par 71, and is tied for fourth place with three other players at two-under 214.
Freshman Hannah Jun carded an even par round of 72 and is tied for 27th at five-over 221. Jun was one-under par on the day through 16 holes before a bogey at the par 3 17th pulled her to even.
Senior Gina Umeck posted a 75 Wednesday and is tied for 14th at two-over par 218. She was one-over par through 15 holes after a birdie at the par 4 15th, but bogeyed two of her remaining three holes.
Senior Krystal Shearer posted a 75 in the third round and is tied for 37th at 223, four -over par.
"[Friday] is another day," said Mathews. "We know that everyone is capable of playing well, and I will have to be at the top of my game again tomorrow to help this team. It feels great to be in the position that we're in right now, and I'm going to do my best to make sure we take that trophy home."
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