April 14, 2014
Hilton Head, S.C. - Western Carolina knocked 25 strokes off of its opening round score by shooting 300 collectively as a team on Monday to remain in fifth place after 36 holes at the 2014 Southern Conference Women's Golf Championship being contested on the par-72, 5,941-yard North Course at the Moss Creek Golf Club. WCU's second round was the second-lowest turned in the event so far.
WCU's second-round 300 was its lowest score carded in the six seasons the SoCon Championship has been held on the North Course at Moss Creek. It pulled the squad to within five strokes of the top three teams in the standings entering the final round, which has been altered to a shotgun start on Tuesday morning in an attempt to avoid inclement weather.
WCU is paired with golfers from Wofford and Samford, and will start between holes No. 5 and No. 8. Teams will tee-off beginning at 8:30 am.
The Catamounts were paced by a pair of classmates with scores of one-over par, 73, on Monday in sophomores Taylor Allison and Mariah Hopkins. Allison was 10-strokes better in the second round while Hopkins whittled nine strokes off her second 18 holes. Hopkins, a product of Greensboro, N.C., paces the team in a tie for 12th overall with Allison and first-round team leader, freshman Olivia Landino, amidst a three-way tie for 17th.
Hopkins bookended her opening nine holes with birdies on Monday to counter a pair of bogies to make the turn at even-par. She then moved to one-under for the day with a birdie on the par-3 10th, playing the next five holes at one-under par. A double-bogey on the par-4 16th - a hole she shot par on in the first round - left her at one-over where she completed the day and has a two-round score of 155.
Allison led the squad through the opening nine holes, carding six pars and three birdies to make the turn at three-under par. However, bogies on the par-3 10th and par-4 12th sandwiched around a double-bogey on the par-5 11th - a hole she scored par on in Sunday's opening round - left her at one-over through 12 holes. After three-consecutive pars, the Elizabeth City, N.C., native closed her round by countering a bogey on No. 16 with a birdie on No. 17 to end the second round with a total of 156.
Allison's five birdies in the tournament have her tied for third overall in the tournament while Hopkins is among the tournament leaders in par-4 scoring, averaging +5 (4.25) to rank tied. She also has four birdies through two rounds.
WCU's first-round leader, Landino, shot 79 on Monday to slip into the tie for 17th overall. The Hermitage, Pa., native was poised to match her opening-round score until a double-bogey on the par-4 18th relegated her to seven-over, 79. She countered seven bogies with two birdies on the second 18 holes.
Freshman Ashley Thompson made the squad's biggest improvement in first-to-second round scoring for the Catamounts, finishing 11-strokes better on Monday. The Clyde, N.C., and Pisgah High product had a much quieter scorecard the second time around, balancing five bogies with two birdies - one on each side - for the three-over round of 75.
Thompson advanced nine places in the standings into a tie for 27th overall with a two-day score of 161.
Sophomore Kim Mitchell rounded out the side for Western Carolina, finishing four strokes better in day two to post the fifth round in the 70s for the Catamounts. The transfer from Woodbridge, Va., fired a second-round 79 (+7) with two birdies to sit in a two-way tie for 30th in the field.
First-round leader, Furman, continues to sit atop the team leader board entering Tuesday's final round, though its seven-stroke lead has dwindled to just one over defending tournament champion, Chattanooga. The Paladins shot 301 for a two-day total of 606 while hard-charging UTC posted a tournament-low round of 295 for a 36-hole tally of 607.
Elon sits in third place, 14-strokes off the pace at 620, followed by Samford (621) and Western Carolina (625) rounding out the top five. Wofford is 16 strokes behind the Catamounts in sixth place, with Appalachian State (644), The Citadel (651), and UNCG (656) completing the field.
The final round tees off at 8:30 am on Tuesday morning.