March 18, 2013
Ocala, Fla. - The Western Carolina duo of Maria Kjelldorff and Mariah Hopkins shot matching rounds for a second-consecutive day, both carding four-over par 76 to stand tied with three others for 22nd place after 36 holes at the MSU Ocala Spring Invitational. The Catamounts enter the final round just nine strokes outside of the team top five at the par-72, 6,113-yard Juliette Falls Golf Resort.
Kjelldorff, a sophomore, and Hopkins, a freshman, matched their opening rounds with identical scores of 76 to shoot 152 through two rounds to pace WCU.
Tuesday's final round will feature a shotgun start. The Catamounts will be paired with golfers from sixth-place Daytona State College and Southern Conference rival, Appalachian State, which sits two strokes behind WCU in ninth place.
Freshman Taylor Allison advanced seven spots in the second round into a tie for 35th, shooting the team's low round of three-over, 75, on Monday to stand two strokes in arrears of her teammates Hopkins and Kjelldorff. Her classmate, Fatima Gonzalez-Carriles, improved her second round by five strokes to shoot four-over, 76, advancing 11 spots in the individual standings while senior Michelle Bello was nine-strokes better on Monday with an 83, sitting in 82nd-place overall.
Lacey Fears of Mercer advanced two spots in the standings, breaking the three-way tie for third with her teammate Kaitlin Marrin and Kate Hoops of Toledo to take a two-stroke edge over first-round leader, Kara Brinkmann from Ohio University after 36 holes. Fears has a two-round score of three-under par 141, just ahead of Brinkmann who backed up her opening round three-under 69 with a two-over 74 to sit in the runner-up spot at 143.
Appalachian State's Yue Xu is tied with Toledo's Jennifer Elsholz for third with an even-par 144. Combined, four golfers are even-par or lower in the event.
Mercer continues to lead the 14-team field, stretching its advantage to 12 strokes over the second-place tie between Stetson and Toledo at 584-to-596. The Bears have posted team rounds of 293 and a tourney-low 291 on Monday. Host Morehead State is fourth at 604 with McNeese State in fifth with a two-round score of 606.
The third and final round of the 54-hole event is slated for an 8:15 am start Tuesday morning.