After posting the lowest team score of the day thus far with a total of 297, the Minnesota women's golf team cuurently sits in a tie for second place heading into Saturday's final round at the NCAA Central Regional in South Bend, Indiana. The Gophers need to finish eighth or better at the 24-team sectional in order advance to the NCAA Championship.
Minnesota owns a 36-hole of 598 (+22) and are tied with eighth-ranked LSU and just six shots shy of leader and second-ranked UCLA (592). The Gophers will have a 12-shot cushion on eighth place entering the final round.
Samantha Sommers fired a second straight one-over-par 73 on Friday and is currently tied for third overall on the individual leaderboard with just 18 holes to play. She carded four birdies in the round and is just two shots out of the individual lead held by Arkansas' Emily Tubert.
Teresa Puga responded from an opening round 75 with a solid 73 as well to sit in a tie for eighth. Michele Edlin posted a 75 in today's round, having started the event with a 74 and is tied for 11th overall.
Banchalee Theingthong showed resiliency with a 76 in the second round, rebounding nicely from her 79 on Thursday. Mary Narzisi was much improved today as well, shooting a 78 after an 82 to begin the event.
As the standings currently show, Minnesota is 10 shots clear of Northwestern and the critical eighth position in the standings.
"The girls have been playing great" said Director of Instruction, Ernie Rose. "Now we just have to make sure to finish it off tomorrow."
This Gophers are playing in their first NCAA Regional since the 2001 season, and are looking for the best ever finish at collegiate golf's premier event, should they qualify for the NCAA Championships. Minnesota's 12th place finish at the NCAA Championships in 1989 is its best yet to date.
The NCAA Tournament is played in three regional sectionals (east, central, west) comprised of 24-teams each. The top eight schools from each regional event will then move on to the final, NCAA Championship tournament in Bryan, Texas.