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Day 2: NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championships
Rose Zhang (Stanford Athletics photo)
Rose Zhang (Stanford Athletics photo)

Halfway through the stroke-play portion of the NCAA Women's Golf Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., the mantra is "one cutline at a time."

Following Sunday's play, the 24-team field will be cut to the top-15 and ultimately to down to the top eight which will advance to match play to decide the national championship.

Stanford (+5) and Oregon (+9), arguably the top two teams in the country this season, are sleeping easy on Saturday as they are running 1-2 on the leaderboard, followed by Auburn (+10)) and UCLA (+10) while SEC champion LSU (+11) rounds out the top five.

"It was so hard out there," said Stanford head coach Anne Walker. "I don't know if it was that hard for everyone because I haven't really checked the scores, but I certainly know that for our team it was hard, but they just kept fighting to the very end. I think just seeing the way they came home shows how much heart they have.

"Yesterday we faced the elements, the wind was howling, but the hole locations were pretty benign. And then today, wind wasn't gusting as hard. It was pretty constant, but not horrible. But the hole locations were so challenging, so it was hard to get close and on a day like that, that's when stuff can start to pile up."

The intrigue heading into the third round is around the 54-hole cutline, which currently stands at 29-over and how much of a gap there will be to ultimately crash the top-eight come Sunday night. There's currently a five-stroke gap between the sixth spot held by Texas A&M (+13) and the 10th spot, which is held by Georgia at 18-over.

The Bulldogs are six strokes clear of those closest pursuers, Texas and Purdue, which are tied for 11th at 24-over. The Bulldogs posted a 3-over 291 – equaling the program's third-best round ever at the NCAA Championships – to climb seven spots to 10th on the leaderboard at Grayhawk Golf Club.

Candice Mahé equaled her best round ever at Georgia with a 3-under 69 to lead the way on Saturday. In the process, she joined Vicki Goetze, Shauna Estes and Summer Sirmons as the only Bulldogs to post a score in the 60s at the NCAA finals site.

"I'm only playing for my team," Mahé said. "Whenever I saw a leaderboard, I was not even looking as an individual. I was always looking for the team. We have had a rough season, but we've always stayed together all the time. We are always here for each other. They all had my back when I shot 81 so I feel like this time was my time to be great. Tomorrow we can go even lower so I'm excited to go into the third round."

Top-10 teams that harbored national championship hopes such as San Jose State (+27), Wake Forest (+29), South Carolina (+30), Oklahoma State (+31) and Alabama (+38) have their backs firmly against the wall.

"The conditions of the course have been tough this week," said Wake Forest head coach Kim Lewellen. "We have learned a lot about how to handle certain things and what we don't have control over. A lot of our course management has been trying to figure out how the course will react to our strategy. The team is staying motivated and not losing sight of our goal. We came here to win so we will come out tomorrow and hopefully do what we need to do to play Monday and continue.

Rose Zhang of Stanford extended her lead to four shots in the individual competition after a second-round 70 left her at 6-under 138 at the halfway point. Beth Lillie of Virginia and Megan Schofill of Auburn are four back of Zhang heading into the third round on Sunday.

"Just starting the round was quite difficult," Zhang said. "I was 2 over through three holes and it definitely put things into perspective for me where I had to stay as present as possible and just try to grind. I knew that coming out it's going to be a grind and the first three holes kind of reinforced that idea and then I just had to keep going. But I would say on the back nine I just stayed as patient as possible. I was just waiting for putts to drop. I was waiting for shots to be hit closer to the hole. I was trying to get my right yardage. So it was very much an up and down round but that's what this course kind of gives you."

• • • • •

At a Glance: Day Two at Grayhawk

Top Eight Teams as of Today: 1. Stanford (+5); 2. Oregon (+9); t-3. Auburn (+10); UCLA (+10); 5. LSU (+11); 6. Texas A&M (+13); 7. Florida State (+15); t-8. Arizona State (+16); USC.

The Next Seven: 10. Georgia (+18); t-11. Texas (+24); Purdue; 13. TCU (+25); t-14. San Jose State (+27); Virginia.

Some Work to Do: t-16. Wake Forest (+29); Mississippi State.

Top Five Individuals: 1. Rose Zhang, Stanford (-6); t-2. Beth Lillie, Virgina (-2); Megan Schofill, Auburn; t-4. Tze-Han Lin, Oregon (-1); Anna Morgan, Furman.

Results: NCAA Division I Women's Championship
1CARose ZhangIrvine, CA150068-70-69-75=282
2MalaysiaNatasha Andrea OonMalaysia100077-68-70-70=285
T3TXJennie ParkCarrollton, TX70073-72-72-70=287
T3SwedenIngrid LindbladSweden70074-70-73-70=287
5Chinese TaipeiTze-Han LinChinese Taipei70072-71-71-74=288

View full results for NCAA Division I Women's Championship

ABOUT THE NCAA Division I Women's Championship

24 teams and 12 individuals not on a qualifying team make up the field for the championship of NCAA Division I women's golf.

After 72 holes of stroke play, the individual champion is crowned, and the low 8 teams advance to match play to determine the team champion.

View Complete Tournament Information

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