May 22, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. - Tulane senior Maribel Lopez Porras saved her finest performance in the Olive & Blue for one of the biggest stages in the golf program's history as she tied the school record for the lowest round with a 5-under 67 and the Green Wave combined for a 1-over 289 total and sits in ninth place following the second round of the 2013 NCAA Women's Golf Championships at the University of Georgia Golf Course.
Tulane returns to the course for Thursday's third round and will join golfers from Oklahoma and Arizona State and the groups will tee off from the 10th hole, beginning at 12:55 p.m.
Tulane improved its score by six shots today after carding a 7-over 295 during Tuesday's opening round. The Green Wave combined for 18 birdies today, including 12 on its final nine holes, and played the front side of the course to an even score after giving up 10 shots as a team on Tuesday.
Tulane began the round on the back nine and was 1-over at the turn. Coming into the final stretch of today's round, TU golfers heated up on the final three holes and dropped three shots from 4-over to its final total.
"I thought everyone had a good round today and Maribel shooting a 67 was huge," Tulane head coach Andrew Pratt said. "For her to shoot a career best and the lowest round by a Tulane player in the NCAA Championships is phenomenal. Emily (Penttila) had a solid day and Gemma (Dryburgh) had a good round. Silvia (Garces) and Madison (Opfer) were right there at the end with a 75 and 76 (respectively). Silvia made a couple of birdies coming in and that was big for us."
"This is a gritty bunch and they don't give up. We were 4-over with three holes to play and were 3-under coming in. I know it's a cliché, but we just need to keep to our game plan for Thursday. This team has the ability to shoot under par on this golf course. We had opportunities to do that today," Pratt added.
Porras, who finished with a 4-over 76 on Tuesday and entered today's round in 76th place, registered birdies on holes 14 and 16, but a bogey on 15 left her 1-under at the turn. Facing what many believe is the toughest half of the course, Porras caught fire and produced birdies on her first two holes. She was forced to settle for a bogey on her third hole but responded with another pair of birdies on holes 5 and 6 to fall to 4-under.
With the school record and her lowest collegiate round in her grasp on her last hole, the veteran tapped her shot toward the hole and gave a quick fist-pump just before her ball had settled to the bottom of the cup to celebrate the record. Porras is the eighth golfer in school history to fire a 5-under 67, and she is the third this season, joining Penttila and Opfer. Porras also tied for the lowest round of the day will enter the third round in 15th place.
"The main difference for me today from yesterday was I basically made all my putts and was able to get up-and-down a lot more today and I didn't do a good job of that yesterday," Porras said. "It's very special to have my best round during the NCAA Championships. The important thing at this event is to get better every day. We played so-so yesterday but got better today and it would be great to go low for the next two rounds."
Penttila carded a 1-over 73 and improved her score by five strokes after finishing with a 6-over 78 on Tuesday. She was even through 16 holes but a bogey on 17 derailed her progress and she will head into the third round in 80th-place.
Dryburgh, the team's opening round leader, logged a 2-over 74 today and is now in 24th place, while Garces turned in a gritty performance for the second straight day. She was 3-over at the turn and, after a birdie on the second hole, she misfired and collected three straight bogeys to go to 5-over. But the rookie gathered herself and notched back-to-back birdies on holes 16 and 17. She parred the 18th hole to finish 3-over for the day and in 58th place.
Freshman Madison Opfer couldn't find her rhythm today, but came up with two birdies down the final stretch to finish at 4-over and in 70th place.
Top-ranked USC flexed its muscle early by exploding for a 12-under 276 total as a team and not only seated itself in first place, but leads second place teams Alabama, the defending national champion by 12 strokes. Duke holds down third place, UCLA is fourth and Purdue and Stanford are tied for fifth.
Alabama's Stephanie Meadow fired a 5-under 67 today and holds down the top spot in the individual leaderboard by one stroke over USC's Annie Park.
Live results from the entire championship, as well as live streaming of holes 17 and 18 during the final two rounds of competition, can be found online at NCAA.com. Additionally, highlights and a recap of play will be provided after competition concludes on Thursday and Friday, May 23-24.
Fans can also check the official website of Tulane Athletics: TulaneGreenWave.com for daily recaps, video and photos from each round, or follow the team for live updates on Twitter: @GreenWaveWGolf.
9 Tulane 295-289=584 (+8) T15 Maribel Lopez Porras 76-67=143 (-1) T24 Gemma Dryburgh 71-74=145 (+1) T58 Silvia Garces 74-75=149 (+5) T70 Madison Opfer 74-76=150 (+6) T80 Emily Penttila 78-73=151 (+7)
1. USC (-16), 2. Alabama (-4), 3. Duke (-1), 4. UCLA (E), T5. Stanford (+2), T5. Purdue (+2), 7. Arizona State (+4), 8. Oklahoma (+6), 9. Tulane (+8), T10. San Jose State (+11), 11. Vanderbilt (+12), T12. Arkansas (+13), T12. Michigan State (+13), 14. Northwestern (+15), 15. Arizona (+17), 16. Texas (+18), T17. UC Davis (+20), T17. Oregon (+20), T19. Florida (+21), T19. Auburn (+21), 21. Mississippi State (+26), 22. Oklahoma State (+27), 23. South Carolina (+33), 24. Wisconsin (+34)
Individual Results (top-10 golfers only)
1. Stephanie Meadow, Alabama (-8), 2. Annie Park, USC (-7), 3. Jenny Hahn, Vanderbilt (-6), 4. Ally McDonald, Mississippi State (-5), 5. Mariah Stackhouse, Stanford (-4), T6. Erynne Lee, UCLA (-3), T6. Rachel Morris, USC (-3), T6. Sophia Popov, USC (-3), T10. Celine Boutier, Duke (-2), T10. Aurora Kan, Purdue (-2), T10. Emma Talley, Alabama (-2), T10. Lee Lopez, UCLA (-2), Regan De Guzman, San Jose State (-2)