Sophomores Madison Opfer (pictured) and Emily Penttila each produced sub-par rounds for the Green Wave during today's third round.
May 22, 2014
Today, Tulane golfers erupted with a 2-under 278 total to produce the best team total of the 2014 NCAA Championships and also became the first school to shoot under par through 54 holes at this title round. The Wave's sub-par round was the school's first in its five national championship appearances.
"The wind was obviously blowing a little less today which I think everyone was a little excited about," Tulane head coach Lorne Don said. "There were some pin positions out there that were accessible. We took advantage today; we hit some great shots and we were able to make some putts for birdie. We got it going on our first nine. The front side played difficult all week but we made a lot of pars on the front side which was our best front nine today. We are very proud to shoot two under. I knew that there was no under par round by a team so far. We were coming in on hole nine and we made several up-and-downs to save par to shoot two under. It's a great day for the Green Wave."
Scintillating sophomores Emily Penttila and Madison Opfer each etched their names into the Tulane annals with two of the best rounds by Green Wave golfers in national championship play. Penttila fired a 5-under 65, the best round of the tournament by an individual, and jumped into sixth place.
She opened with five birdies on her first nine holes and overcame her only miscue, a bogey on the first hole of her back nine, with a sixth birdie of the day on her 15th hole. Her round tied former Green Wave All-American Maribel Lopez Porras for the lowest round by a Tulane player in the NCAA Championships.
"I think, as coach said, our first nine today is easier," Penttila said. "There are more opportunities out there so I used those opportunities. On our back side there were some tougher holes and I just made sure to make up and down if I got into a tough position. If I got the opportunity to make a birdie I took it."
Opfer, meanwhile, was on task as well from start to finish. Like Penttila, Opfer had the hot hand from the outset. She logged four birdies in her opening nine holes and was guilty of one misstep on the day with a bogey in her fifth hole. She was 3-under at the turn and played mistake-free golf on her final nine holes to log the second-best round by a Tulane golfer at the national championships. Opfer's effort moved her up to 41st place.
"I just tried to take advantage of the easy pins," Opfer said. "Anything that looked tough, I just tried to hit the middle of the green and make par. If I happened to miss, I tried to make par. I just tried to stay as even as possible and not let my emotions get to me."
Junior Gemma Dryburgh came through with her best round of the event with a 1-over 71 on the day. She was even coming down the home stretch but was tripped up on her final hole with a bogey. Dryburgh enters the final round in 69th place.
"I think the great thing about this group is they are extremely motivated. This was a team that we had four players back who finished tied for 9th at last year's National Championship. One of our goals when we started this year was to better that finish. I think we gave ourselves a great chance with our round today," Don said.
Live results from the entire championship, as well as live video streaming from holes 16, 17 and 18 for the final two rounds, can be found online at www.ncaa.com. Fans can also check the official website of Tulane Athletics: www.TulaneGreenWave.com for daily recaps, video and photos from each round, or follow the team on Twitter: @GreenWaveWGolf.
Duke overtook Oklahoma for the top spot on the leaderboard, while USC also leapfrogged the Sooners into the second place. OU is third, followed by UCLA and Mississippi State.
In the individual race, USC's Doris Chen and Duke's Celine Boutier share the top spot, each at 3-under. Penttila enters the final four just four strokes off the top spot.
9 Tulane 303-294-278=875 (+35) T6 Emily Penttila 72-74-65=211 (+1) T41 Silvia Garces 73-72-75=220 (+9) T41 Madison Opfer 78-75-67=220 (+9) T69 Gemma Dryburgh 80-73-71=224 (+14) T123 Belen Goicoechea 81-78-78=237 (+26)
1. Duke (+16), USC (+22), 3. Oklahoma (+26), 4. UCLA (+27), 5. Mississippi State (+30), T6. Arizona State (+31), T6. Arizona (+31), T6. North Carolina State (+31), 9. Tulane (+35), T10. Ohio State (+38), T10. Northwestern (+38), T12. Alabama (+39), T12. Vanderbilt (+39), 14. Stanford (+40) 15. Washington (+41), 16. South Carolina (+43), 17. Texas A&M (+45), 18. Virginia (+46), 19. Florida (+47), T20. California (+50), T20. Michigan State (+50), 22. Iowa State (+56), 23. Campbell (+57), 24. Kansas (+69)
Players Results (Top-10 only)
T1. Doris Chen, USC (-3), T1. Celine Boutier, Duke (-3), T3. Allyssa Ferrell, Michigan State (E), T3. Chonlada Chayanun, Iowa State (E), T3. Lauren Kim, Stanford (E), T6. Emily Penttila, Tulane (+1), T6. Augusta James, North Carolina State (+1), T8. Kendall Martindale, Vanderbilt (+2), T8. Louise Ridderstrom, UCLA (+2), T8. Ally McDonald (+2 )