Kang Shares Lead; Waves in Third at East Regional
GREENVILLE, N.C. - Danielle Kang's eagle on the 16th hole lifted her into a share of the lead after two rounds of the NCAA East Regional on Friday, and the Pepperdine women's golf team sits in third place and is in good shape in its quest to advance to the NCAA Championships.
Pepperdine shot a 2-over 290 at the par-72 Ironwood Country Club, good for a two-round total of a 5-under 571 (281-290). Only Duke (568) and Tennessee (570) are ahead of the Waves. The top eight teams will advance to the NCAA Championships, set for May 18-21 in Wilmington, N.C. Pepperdine will head into Saturday's third and final round 12 strokes ahead of the cut line.
Kang (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), a freshman, entered Friday's round tied for second place. She was at 3-over at the turn, but birdied the 12th hole and eagled the par-5 16th hold to get back to par, and finished at 72. She has a 5-under 139 (67-72) and is tied with three other players: Katie Burnett of South Carolina, Kim Donovan of Duke and Rosalyn Kim of Texas Tech.
Sophomore Jessica Wallace (Langley, B.C., Canada) also began the round tied for second but dropped back into a tie for seventh with a 3-under 141 (67-74) after a 2-over 74.
Sophomore Lisa McCloskey (Montgomery, Texas) was close to a spot in the top 10, but a tough finish dropped her into a tie for 29th place with a 1-over 145 (70-75).
Sophomore Kaitlin Drolson (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) had the best round of the day for the Waves and one of the best in the entire field. She fired a 3-under 69 and was one of only five players to break 70. That moved her up nearly 60 spots in the standings, as she's now tied for 35th place with a 2-over 146 (77-69). She had four birdies on her first six holes and had a total of five for the day.
Junior Taylore Karle (Scottsdale, Ariz./Laurel Springs Academy) is tied for 93rd place at 154 after her second straight 77.
Kang and the Waves are looking to establish a couple of new school bests. Pepperdine's top finish by an individual at a regional was a tie for second by Katherine Hull in 2002. Pepperdine has never won a regional outright, but tied for the team title at the 2002 West Regional.
Pepperdine is looking for its 10th NCAA Championships berth. The Waves have finished in the nation's top 10 in eight of their previous nine trips.
Team Scores: 1. Duke 290-278=568; 2. Tennessee 283-287=570; 3. Pepperdine 281-290=571; 4. South Carolina 283-291=574; 5. Auburn 280-295=575; 6. Vanderbilt 292-287=579; 7. Tulane 285-295=580; 8. Florida 284-297=581; T9. TCU 287-296=583; T9. Texas Tech 285-298=583; 11. North Carolina 294-292=586; 12. East Tennessee State 285-304=589; 13. Wake Forest 296-295=591; 14. Chattanooga 293-301=594; 15. East Carolina 293-305=598; T16. Georgia State 290-310=600; T16. Washington 305-295=600; 18. Furman 305-296=601; 19. Coastal Carolina 307-296=603; T20. Campbell 297-307=604; T20. Stetson 298-306=604; 22. College of Charleston 297-310=607; 23. Charleston Southern 315-318=633; 24. Fairleigh Dickinson 327-331=658.
Top Individuals: T1. Katie Burnett (South Carolina) 67-72=139; T1. Kim Donovan (Duke) 71-68=139; T1. Danielle Kang (Pepperdine) 67-72=139; T1. Rosalyn Kim (Texas Tech) 70-69=139; T5. Nina Muehl (East Tennessee State) 64-76=140; T5. Erica Popson (Tennessee) 72-68=140.
Other Pepperdine Scores: T7. Jessica Wallace 67-74=141; T29. Lisa McCloskey 70-75=145; T35. Kaitlin Drolson 77-69=146; T93. Taylore Karle 77-77=154.