TULSA, Okla. (WCBI/MSU Athletics) – With the wind dying down, so did the scores as the Mississippi State women’s golf team made a tremendous improvement to propel themselves into eighth place after two rounds of the NCAA Championships, while Ally McDonald is in the top-10.
Following the 302 score in the opening round, MSU recorded a 17-shot-turnaround in the second round to tie for the third-lowest round of the day at 5-over-par 285. Wednesday’s round was also good for the seventh-best 18-hole score and best NCAA championship round in school history.
“It started off a little slow,” Bulldogs head coach Ginger Brown-Lemm said. “We were creeping up there into the six-over for the day, then all of a sudden we saw some red on the scorecard and really liked the way it was going. This is just one of the most resilient squads that I’ve ever been privileged to coach. To do what they did at regionals and now here, playing with national championship programs and being able to compete and hold yourself, I’m just so pleased with them.”
All-SEC selection McDonald tied for the second-lowest round of the day with a 2-under-par 68 in her Wednesday round to move up the leaderboard into a tie for eighth at 1-over-par 141. McDonald fired three birdies and her second eagle of the season to beat her first round by five strokes.
The Fulton, Miss., native had consecutive birdies on holes 6 and 7 and another on hole 13 before claiming her eagle on the par-5 16 after reaching the green in two. McDonald becomes just the fourth player in school history to notch two eagles in a single campaign.
“Obviously it helped that the wind was not as strong today as it was yesterday,” McDonald said. “I definitely think that my score was good for how I hit it, which was not the best that I could have done, but it is something I can build off of and take into the next two days.”
Converting four birdies in her round was Jessica Peng, who turned in an even-par 70 scorecard to slide up into the top-25 at 5-over-par 145. The freshman showed great perseverance by bouncing back from two bogeys on her opening hole to register three birdies out of her next five holes.
Mary Langdon Gallagher bettered her first round by four shots to record a 2-over-par 72 second round score with two birdies and her first career eagle. Gallagher sunk her shot with an eight iron on the par-4 fourth hole to convert the eagle, and then ended her day with a birdie on 18. The eagles by Gallagher and McDonald made this round the first round all season where the Bulldogs claimed two eagles in one round.
Making a five-shot-improvement from her first to second rounds was Ji Eun Baik, who used three birdies to shoot a 75 in her second round. Baik fired back-to-back birdies on holes 7 and 8 and added a third on hole 15. Junior Rica Tse rounded out the MSU lineup with a second round score of 77 to finish the first two days at 155.
No. 7 Oklahoma held its lead from the first round to finish the second day at 15-over-par 575. Alexandra Kaui of the Sooners took the top individual spot at 5-under-par 135.
Brown-Lemm’s squad will tee off Thursday’s third round at 12:55 p.m. CST on hole 10, paired with No. 12 Stanford and No. 6 Washington.
Live stats and post-round results will be available through Hailstate.com and GolfStat.com. The 16, 17 and 18 holes of tomorrow’s round will be streamed live for the public to watch at NCAA.com.
Second Round – May 21, 2014
1. No. 7 Oklahoma (288-287=575, +15); 2. No. 3 Duke (293-285=578, +18); 3. No. 5 Arizona State (293-287=580, +20); T4. No. 1 Southern California (293-291=584, +24); T4. No. 2 UCLA (291-293=584, +24); T4. No. 11 Arizona (298-286=584, +24); 7. No. 12 Stanford (300-286=586, +26); 8. No. 27 Mississippi State (302-285=587, +27); T9. No. 6 Washington (299-289=588, +28); T9. No. 20 Michigan State (305-283=588, +28); T11. No. 10 Alabama (305-285=590, +30); T11. No. 22 Ohio State (299-291=590, +30); 13. No. 17 NC State (307-284=591, +31); 14. No. 8 Vanderbilt (303-290=593, +33); 15. No. 15 Northwestern (305-289=594, +34); T16. No. 21 Florida (305-292=597, +37); T16. No. 30 Texas A&M (305-292=597, +37) T16. No. 31 Tulane (303-294=597, +37); 19. No. 18 Virginia (303-295=598, +38); 20. No. 4 South Carolina (301-299=600, +40); 21. No. 25 California (296-305=601, +41); 22. No. 24 Iowa State (306-298=604, +44): 23. No. 29 Kansas (313-293=606, +46); 24. No. 45 Campbell (305-303=608, +48)
MSU INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
T8. Ally McDonald 73-68=141, +1
T24. Jessica Peng 75-70=145, +5
T43. Mary Langdon Gallagher 76-72=148, +8
T97. Ji Eun Baik 80-75=155, +15
T97. Rica Tse 78-77=155, +15