Pooler, Ga. - Western Carolina junior Kim Mitchell remained within striking distance of the individual lead at the 2015 Southern Conference Women's Golf Championship, carding a second-round, two-over par 74 to move into a tie for seventh-place overall entering Tuesday's final round. As a team, the Catamounts slipped three spots in the team rankings with a second-round 302 to stand sixth overall at the par-72, 6,050-yard Savannah Quarters Country Club.
The 54-hole tournament concludes on Tuesday with the winner earning the SoCon's automatic bid to the NCAA regionals. The Citadel, UNCG and Mercer will tee off at 8:00 am from No. 10, while Wofford, ETSU and Western Carolina will go from No. 1 at 8:00 am. The final flight includes Furman, Chattanooga and Samford and tees off on the front nine beginning at 8:50 am.
Mitchell followed up her opening-round even-par score of 72 with the two-over, 74, to lead Western Carolina with a two-day total of 146. After bogeying the first hole of her second round, the Woodbridge, Va., native played the next eight holes at even par to make the turn at one-over. Mitchell posted two bogies among the first three holes of the back nine before scoring birdie on the par-5 17th for a second-straight day to finish at two-over for the round.
Mitchell has seven birdies to go along with 20 birdies through the first 36 holes, while also ranking tied for second in par-5 scoring.
WCU's first-round leader with a career-low matching one-under par 71, sophomore Ashley Thompson slipped into a tie for 23rd entering the final round after a second-round score of 80. The Clyde, N.C., product countered five bogies on the front nine with a birdie on the par-4 eighth to make the turn at four-over par. On the back nine, Thompson had three bogies and a double-bogey on the par-4 11th before also birdying the 17th for a second-consecutive round.
Sophomore Olivia Landino was the Catamounts' biggest mover on the day, advancing eight spots from 34th into a two-way tie for 26th with a team-best, second-round score of even-par, 72. She has a two-day score of 152. On Monday, Landino was even through six holes before carding back-to-back birdies on the par-4 seventh and eighth, making the turn at two-under. However, the Hermitage, Pa., product charted three bogies over the first six holes of the back nine to move to one-over par until a birdie on the par-4 16th dropped her back to even-par where she finished the day.
Sophomore Bethany Galloway fired a 79 on Monday to slip into a tie for 30th overall with a score of 154 while junior Mariah Hopkins rounded out the Catamount scoring five, three-strokes better on the second day for a five-over round of 77 to enter the final day in a tie for 33rd at 157.
Galloway turned in 12 pars on the day to give her a combined 27 over the first 36 holes, tied for the third-most among the field. However, the Charlotte, N.C., native ran into a string of five-straight bogies on the front nine before finishing with a double-bogey on the 18th. Hopkins, from Greensboro, N.C., charted a pair of birdies on Monday, one aside for WCU.
Day-one leader Furman shot a tournament-record 284 on Monday to extend its lead to nine shots after two rounds of competition. The Paladins' Taylor Totland and Alice Chen share the individual lead at four-under-par 140. Samford's Bailey Gray matched the tournament single-round record with a four-under 68 Monday.
All five Furman players are currently in the top 15 in the individual standings, with Totland and Chen leading the way. Totland, the No. 24-ranked golfer nationally, shot a three-under 69 Monday to jump two spots into the lead. The 2014 SoCon runner-up shot a one-under par 71 in Sunday's first round.
Chen, who shared the first-round lead with Mercer freshman Hannah Mae Deems, fired her second straight two-under 70 to remain atop the field.
As a team, Furman blistered the tournament record of 291, which was set in 2006 by College of Charleston and matched in 2013 by Furman and UNCG. After Monday's four-under effort, the Paladins, seeking their 14th SoCon title all-time and first since 2009, own a two-day total of 3-under 573 to sit nine strokes clear of second-place Chattanooga (582, +6). The five-time defending SoCon champion Mocs also eclipsed the previous record for a single round, combining for an even-par 288. Samford came in under the old record, as well, turning in a two-over 290 to jump one spot into third in the team race.
ETSU's Dominki Czudkova, WCU's Kim Mitchell and Wofford's Lela Oakley round out the top 10, each sitting tied for seventh at 2-over 146.
As a team, Wofford moved up one spot into fourth with a five-over 293 Monday. The Terriers are at 595 after 36 holes. ETSU (303-296=599), Western Carolina (298-302=600), Mercer (305-306=611), UNCG (313-307=620) and The Citadel (326-323=649) round out the field.
Live stats can be found at www.golfstatresults.com and will be updated every three holes.