EDEN PRAIRIE, MN (October 2, 2017) - The University of Arkansas remained at the top of the leaderboard after the second round of the ANNIKA Intercollegiate at Olympic Hills Golf Club.
The Razorbacks started the day with a three-shot lead and stretched it to four after a round of six-under 282. Dylan Kim led the team with a four-under 68, while Maria Fassi posted her second-straight round of two-under 70, and Alana Uriell also shot 70.
A lot of red on the leaderboard
After a difficult day for scoring in round one, conditions improved and the scoring came way down for nearly everyone in the field.
Texas, led by the reigning U.S. Women's Amateur champion Sophia Schubert, had the low round of the day, bettering par by 14 shots for a 274 that brought them within four of the lead. Schubert led the way with a five-under 67, and teammates Emilee Hoffman (68), Greta Volker (69), and Kaitlyn Papp (70) all had under-par rounds.
Stanford is tied with Texas in second after a round of 8-under 280 that included par-or-better rounds from Andrea Lee (69), Shannon Aubert (69), Albane Valenzuela (70), and Mika Liu (72).
UCLA is in fourth but only five shots back of Arkansas; the Bruins had four under-par rounds from Patty Tavatanakit (69), Clare Legaspi (70), Mariel Galdiano (70), and Bethany Wu (71).
Furman had the second-low round of the day to put themselves within striking distance, in fifth but only seven shots behind. Alice Chen (67) and Natalie Srinivisan (68) went low for the Paladins, while Reona Hirai (71) and Jacqueline Bendrick (71) also had under-par rounds.
Srinivisan has the individual lead at six-under 138, two shots ahead of Tavatakanit, Fassi and Liu; and three shots ahead of Uriell, Kim and Schubert.
With a tight team leaderboard (six teams within nine shots) and individual leaderboard (15 players within five shots), the final day promises to be unpredictable and down-to-the-wire.
If Arkansas is able to hold off the field it will be their second win of the season.
FIRST ROUND RECAP
Tournament namesake Annika Sorenstam
was on hand for day one
The University of Arkansas, ranked No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings and already winners this year, is leading the way at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate.
On a difficult opening day the Razorbacks were the only team that could manage a level-par tally and they will carry a three shot lead in to the second at Olympic Hills Golf Club.
Leading the way for Arkansas is to nobody's surprise Maria Fassi. The junior, tied for first nationally in scoring average, is presently tied for third at 2-under and two shots off the lead.
On Sunday Fassi had an up-and-down round with a bogey-free 3-under 33 front nine and after she birdied the 10th to move to 4-under she seemed to be well on her way to the lead after day one. However, as can happen in golf she hit a tough patch with bogeys on Nos. 11, 12, 15 and 17 to fall back to even-par for the day only to rebound with an eagle on the closing par-5 18th.
Fassi and Arkansas are both looking for their second wins of the season after winning the Mason Rudolph Championship in record-setting fashion. Fassi closed with a 64, the second best score in program history, while Arkansas as a team finished 41-under tying a NCAA record.
The win for Fassi marked the third consecutive year that she began her season with a win.
Also pacing Arkansas on Sunday were Alana Uriell (T6; -1), Dylan Kim (T12; +1) and Cara Gorlei (T14; +2).
Behind Arkansas in the team standings come South Carolina (+3) in second place, Stanford (+6) in third, in fourth it is UCLA (+7) while in fifth sits defending champion USC (+11). Last year USC won the title by rallying from 13-shots back at the start of the final round.
In the medalist race the lead is being shared by Robynn Ree of USC and Mika Liu of Stanford at 4-under.
Ree birdied seven-times and bogeyed three-times during the round, with her best stretch of golf coming from Nos. 13-16 when she birdied three-times.
For Liu her round included six birdies, one eagle, two bogey's and one double-bogey. Liu started quickly and after seven holes she was 6-under. The highlight of the early round run came on the 2nd hole when she eagled the 352 yard par-4.
The steady play continued and after two birdies and two bogeys on the back nine she was still 6-under when she reached the closing hole. Poised to lead alone at the end of the day, Liu slipped up carding a double-bogey seven.
Along with Fassi, Natalie Srinivasan (Furman) and Renate Grimstad (Miami) are sharing third at 2-under.
This marks fourth consecutive round that Arkansas has finished in the lead and the fourth consecutive round that Maria Fassi of Arkansas has been inside the top-3.