May 20, 2009
UCLA Head Coach Carrie Forsyth's prediction was correct. Several hours before the field's completion of the second round at the NCAA Women's Golf Championship at Caves Valley GC, Forsyth surmised that her team's score would end up being the day's best.
"I would think that our score of plus five would probably be one of the lowest," Forsyth deadpanned. "Still, we were a little tentative."
When the round ended, the Bruins not only made their coach look smart, they held a seven-stroke lead over their arch-rivals.
The second-ranked Bruins posted a score of 293 (+5) for a 36-hole total of 589 (+13). They led third-ranked USC, which was second at 596 (+20). First-round leader Denver fell to third place at 598 (+22), followed by a trio of lurking heavyweights: No.1 Arizona State, No. 5 Oklahoma State and 10th-ranked North Carolina were tied for fourth at 24-over par 600. Three shots behind was No. 12 Wake Forest at 603 (+27), followed by three-time defending champion Duke and LSU at 606 (+30).
UCLA sophomore Maria Jose Uribe was anything but tentative, firing a tournament-best 66 (-6) on Wednesday. Uribe torched her front nine in five-under 31, recording three birdies and an eagle at the short par 5 17th (her eighth hole). She brought her score to seven-under with birdies at her 11th and 13th holes. A single bogey at the last hole gave her a score of 35 on the inward nine.
"It's a pretty tough course," Uribe said. "If you're not in the fairway, it's going to be tough. If you have a good round, numbers like 66 and 67 are very reachable. I love to play courses like this."
Uribe also vaulted 25 spots to the top of the leader board, where she held a two-stroke lead at 141 (-3) over Wake Forest's Nannette Hill, who posted a 71 (-1).
"The reason she played well is that she had confidence in her ball striking today and she was making good, aggressive swings," added Forsyth. "She wasn't afraid of the miss-hit."
The rest of the Bruins endured their troubles. Freshman Stephanie Kono was tied for 16th place at 149 (+5) after carding a score of 76 (+4). Senior Tiffany Joh also posted a round of 76 and was tied for 20th with teammate Sydnee Michaels at 150 (+6). Michaels posted her second straight score of 75 (+3). Sophomore Glory Yang fell from a tie for 12th place into a tie for 38th at 152 (+8) following a round of 78 (+6).
On Thursday, the Bruins will tee off at 9:50 a.m. PDT from the first hole with USC and Denver.
The NCAA Championship is a 72-hole event.
For all the latest information, click here.