April 24, 2012
NEW ORLEANS - Tulane junior golfer Maribel Lopez Porras fired an even-par 72 and sits two strokes out of first place and the Green Wave combined for an 8-over 296 total and remains in second place following the second round of the 2012 Conference USA Championships at the Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club in Gulf Shores, Ala.
The Green Wave will once again be paired with golfers from Tulsa and UCF for Wednesday's final round. Playing from the No. 1 tee box, TU senior Stephanie Wagstaff will tee off first for the Wave at 8:20 a.m., followed by senior Samantha Troyanovich (8:30), freshman Gemma Dryburgh (8:40), senior Ashley McKenney (8:50) and Porras at 9 a.m.
Despite the five-stroke improvement and much better weather conditions today, Tulane (+21) slipped seven strokes behind first and second round leader Tulsa (+14), while UCF (+23) is just two strokes behind the Wave in third place. East Carolina is in fourth place, but is 31 strokes off the lead, while SMU is fifth at 48-over.
Wednesday's final round will be a race between the top three teams to see who claims the 2012 conference crown. The Wave is going for its third title in three years.
"We played better today than the first round and it wasn't really a bad round for us, but Tulsa played a great round today and was able to separate themselves from us," Tulane head coach Andrew Pratt said. "We have some ground to make up tomorrow but it's not over. Seven shots is something that can be made up in one round if we play well enough.
"We need to come out tomorrow ready to play and have a couple of players shoot under par. That's our goal. We were close today with Stephanie and Maribel but we need everyone to play well and really put some pressure on Tulsa. We need to play great."
Porras got off to a rough start with a bogey on her first hole, but made up for the miscue with a birdie four holes later at the fifth hole and finished even on the front side. She then bogeyed her first hole on the back nine and added one more bogey on the 14th hole. But the defending C-USA Golfer of the Year rallied with a birdie on 15 and she knocked in another birdie on 18 to drop to even on the day.
Porras will begin the final round in second place with a 1-over total through 36 holes, which is just two strokes off the leader, Tulsa's Marita Engzelius, who is sitting with a 1-under total.
Wagstaff had the hot hand this morning and was on the verge of registering her lowest round as a collegian. She birdied three of her first eight holes and was 2-under at the turn following a bogey on 9. She made up for a bogey on 12 with her fourth birdie of the day on 15. Following a bogey on 17, she remained 1-under for the round, but a double bogey on 18 sidetracked her record round and left her 1-over for the day, which tied for the best round of her career. Wagstaff jumped 12 spots from 29th to 17th place.
The opening nine holes were tough for McKenney as she entered the turn at 3-over and then ran her total up to 4-over with a bogey on 10. She managed a birdie on 15 and finished par the rest of the way and sits in a tie for sixth place at 5-over through 36 holes.
Dryburgh was another Wave golfer who got off to a tough start on the front nine. She picked up three bogeys on the front and added another on the back nine and entered the clubhouse at 4-over on the day and slipped to 12th place.
Troyanovich matched her first round score of 7-over and is tied for 26th place.
2 Tulane 301-296=597 (+21) 2 Maribel Lopez Porras 73-72=145 (+1) T6 Ashley McKenney 74-75=149 (+5) 12 Gemma Dryburgh 75-76=151 (+7) T17 Stephanie Wagstaff 80-73=153 (+9) T26 Samantha Troyanovich 79-79=158 (+14)
1. Tulsa (+14), 2. Tulane (+21), 3. UCF (+23), 4. East Carolina (+45), 5. SMU (+48), 6. Memphis (+50), 7. UTEP (+57), 8. Marshall (+58), 9. UAB (+60), 10. Southern Miss (+93)
Individual Results (Top-10 Only):
1. Marita Engzelius, Tulsa (-1), 2. Maribel Lopez Porras, Tulane (+1), 3. Caitlin Watts, UAB (+2), T4. Felicia Espericueta, SMU (+3), T4. Katie Mitchell, UCF (+3), T6. Ashley McKenney, Tulane (+5), T6. Kristina Merkle, Tulsa (+5), T6. Amy Otteson, East Carolina (+5), T6. Carolin Pinegger, UCF (+5), T6. Monifa Sealy, UCF (+5)