Romero and Plata share 36-hole lead at the Patriot All-America
Kaleiya Romero shares the second round lead at the Patriot All-America
Kaleiya Romero shares the second round lead at the Patriot All-America

Kaleiya Romero maintained her share of first place at the Patriot All-America Invitational being held outside of Phoenix, but for the second day in a row, the Pepperdine standout has company atop the leaderboard.

Valery Plata, last year's Big 10 Player of the Year from Michigan State, grabbed a share of the 36-hole lead after carding a 5-under 65 on Thursday to move to 8-under 132 at the 36-hole mark of the tournament being held at the Wigwam Resort (Blue Course).

Romero and Plata enjoy a two-stroke lead over Ivy Shepherd of Clemson and Natasha Andrea Oon of San Jose State heading into Friday's final round. Mychael O'Berry of Auburn is within striking distance at 5-under 135 after posting a second-round score of 3-under 67.

The low-round of the day was turned in by Texas sophomore Ashley Park, who fired a 7-under 63, nine-strokes better than her opening round of 74. Park rattled off seven consecutive birdies from holes 9-15 before finishing with three pars and a round of 63.

First-round co-lead Caley McGinity of Oklahoma State slipped back into a tie for sixth place at 4-under 136 after carding an even-par round of 70 on Thursday.

Plata, a native of Floridablanca, Colombia who won the inaugural Women's Amateur Latin America Championship in November, was 3-under on her round until she made an eagle on the par-5 finishing hole which gave her a share of the lead. She is one of four Michigan State golfers competing at the Patriot along with her teammate Brooke Biermann and men's players James Piot and Troy Taylor.

Romero also had an eagle in her round, holing out from the fairway on the par-4 14th hole en route to her second consecutive 66.

Results: Patriot All-America Women's Invitational
1ColombiaValery PlataColombia70067-65-66=198
2GAIvy ShepherdPeachtree City, GA50070-64-67=201
3AZAshley MenneSurprise, AZ40070-66-66=202
T4MalaysiaNatasha Andrea OonMalaysia40069-65-69=203
T4CASabrina IqbalSan Jose, CA40067-69-67=203

View full results for Patriot All-America Women's Invitational

ABOUT THE Patriot All-America Women's Invitational

The Wigwam and the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA), in partnership with the Folds of Honor Foundation present the Patriot All- America Women's Invitational. It's one of the most unique events in all of golf.

42 top collegiate players named to the PING All- America team in NCAA Division I,II and III, NAIA and NJCAA, AJGA, one player from each military academy and select international players compete in a 54- hole championship.

Each player honors our military by carrying a bag with the name, rank and service of a fallen or severely wounded soldier embroidered on the pocket. Following the championship, the bags go to the players’ school for auction, with proceeds benefiting the Folds of Honor.

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