STILLWATER, Okla. – Sophomores Gabriela Lopez
and Regina Plasencia
sparked a great second round by the University of Arkansas women’s golf team in NCAA Central Regional action in Stillwater, Okla., Friday.
Lopez birdied five of her last six holes shooting a one-under 71 for the day while Plasencia was three-under after playing the front nine four-under at the turn.
“Today was a much-better day,” Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor
said. “Watching Gaby today was just amazing. She finished so strong and I’m very proud of her effort. Regina too. She really came on today and played well. We finished strong but unfortunately, we didn’t move up the leaderboard much. We are really going to have to go out there and grind and see if we can move up the leaderboard in the final round.”
The day started well for Arkansas as the Razorbacks teed off in the second wave starting on the 10th hole. As a group, the counting four players were plus-three to open. Plasencia really heated up with four birdies on the back side. She opened her day with back-to-back par holes on 10 and 11 before counting a three on the par four 12th hole.
Plasencia, whose father and brother are in Oklahoma to watch her play this week, pared the 13th hole then had back-to-back birdies on 14 and 15 moving to three-under. The 14th hole was a long par-5 and she put her third shot near the pin before tapping in for the birdie.
The 15th hole is a short par-3 and her tee shot again was close to the pin in the middle of the green. She tapped in the one-foot putt for birdie. Plasencia also birded the 17th before making the turn.
Freshman Summar Roachell
also had a good opening nine turning at two-over while Lopez was plus-3 at the turn and Arkansas moved up the leaderboard into the top 10.
Lopez, who battled a stomach ache early in the round, picked up a birdie on the ninth hole turning at three-over. She moved back to plus-four with a bogey on the third hole, her 12th hole of the round, before rattling off five birdies in her final six holes.
“You know, I didn’t feel comfortable with my game this morning, Lopez said. “I think it was mindset on the second nine. I was feeling better with my body and my mind. All the putts went in because of mindset. I told myself the ball has no option – it was going in the hole and that is what it did. It was pretty cool. I have always dreamed of closing like this and I want to carry this feeling into the final round.”
Arkansas finished the day with a seven-over 295 pairing with their opening round 309 and are in the clubhouse with a 604 in 13th place overall. The Razorbacks are just eight strokes back of the coveted top eight with those teams moving on to the NCAA Championship in Tulsa, Okla., later this month.
The Razorbacks’ round was the seventh-best round of the day in the hot and sunny conditions. Arkansas will tee off in the afternoon groups and the winds are expected to blow 25-30 miles per hour for the day.
* The toughest hole on the course was #5 played at +.79 (10 was the toughest on Thursday)
* The top eight teams advance to the NCAA Championship in Tulsa, Okla., later this month
* Arkansas cut 14 strokes off its score from round one to round two
* Two Razorbacks (Gabriela Lopez
and Regina Plasencia
) were under par Friday
* Arkansas is +28 – eight strokes back of eighth place
* Arkansas is paired with Harvard and No. 45 Texas in the final round with tee times starting at noon for the Razorbacks
For more information on Arkansas women’s golf, follow @RazorbackWGolf on Twitter.