The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s golf team has an early tee time today.
That’s just what coach Colette Murray desired, because the top 12 teams through two rounds in the NCAA Central Regional play their final 18 holes this morning. The top eight at the end of the day advance to the NCAA championship tournament.
The Mocs are in ninth place through 36 holes.
“We’re going to approach it the way we’ve approached final rounds all year,” Murray said. “We’re going to finish strong like we have in the past.”
The Mocs need to leapfrog at least one team and fend off others on their heels. They shot a 21-over-par 309 on Friday at Warren Golf Course in Notre Dame Ind., and are 36 over par for the tournament.
Arkansas is two shots ahead, while Stanford and Northwestern are four ahead of the Mocs. Texas trails UTC by one stroke, Kent State and Tulane are two shots back and fifth-ranked Duke is four behind UTC, as is Wake Forest.
“I don’t think we played very well today, but we did enough to keep ourselves in the hunt,” said Murray, whose team trails tournament-leading UCLA by 20 shots. “The pins were a little harder today, and it just seemed harder out there today.”
UTC junior Maria Juliana Loza shot 6 over par Friday and is tied for 21st at 7 over for the tournament. She’s tied with senior teammate Christine Wolf and Wake Forest senior Cheyenne Woods — niece of Tiger Woods.
Mocs senior Emma de Groot shot 4 over and is 9 over for the tournament in a tie for 39th. Marion Duvernay is at 14 over, and freshman Jordan Britt had UTC’s drop score.
“Emma and Christine are our top two players, and they’re doing what they need to,” Murray said. “Everyone is doing their bit. This is definitely not our best.”
Alabama is leading the East Regional at LPGA International Legends Course in Daytona Beach, Fla. Former Baylor School star Brooke Pancake is tied for ninth individually at even-par.
David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...