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Lewis leads SEC Championship after round two

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Lewis leads SEC Championship after round two

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LOUDON, Tenn. – Tough conditions didn’t slacken University of Arkansas senior Stacy Lewis’ lead on the field in the second round of the 2008 Southeastern Conference Championship in Loudon, Tenn., Saturday.

Stormy weather conditions threatened all day. Tournament officials delayed the start time by two hours letting the first weather cell pass through but blustery winds and cool temperatures reminded players and fans that more bad weather was on the way.

But Lewis battled all of that posting a one-over 73 (69-73) for a 142 and a one-stroke lead after the second round. Ninth-ranked Arkansas, who was tied for first after the opening day, slipped to second place with a 298 for 595 (297-298) on the par 72 6,293-yard Tennessee National Golf Course.

“All I can ever ask of this team is to be in contention to win the tournament at the end of the day and we have done a good job with that,” said Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor. “Conditions were tough but they were hard for everyone. We believe in ourselves and I know we can contend.”

Should Lewis remain in the lead and win the tournament, she would become the first player in Lady Razorback golf history to do so. Four other women have won the conference championship more than once including current Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor who won the title in 1997 and 1999 as a player for Georgia. The most recent player to win at least two SEC titles is Kristy McPherson of South Carolina who earned medalist honors in 2001 and 2002.

Nearly every Lady’Back posted better scores Saturday as the top teams separated themselves from the pack. Junior Lucy Nunn carded a two-over 74 for 147 (73-74) and is seventh overall. Sophomore Alex Schulte equaled Friday’s numbers with a 76 (76-76) for a 152 and is tied for 16th while sophomore Kristin Ingram shaved two strokes for a second round 77 (79-77) and a 156. Ingram is tied for 25th overall. Freshman Kelli Shean rebounded with a second-day 75 (87-75) for 162 and is tied for 43rd overall.

“I told Kelli that champions are not defined by one round of golf,” said Estes-Taylor. “They are defined by how they come back from a bad round and she really took that to heart today. I’m very pleased with her efforts.

“Lucy is really committed to sticking with the process, slowing down and thinking about everything before she hits. I’m pleased with how she’s play. And Kristin had four birdies in a row. I think if we can get everyone making a few putts down the stretch we will be in good shape.”

Fifth-ranked Florida snatched the lead away from Arkansas going low with a second round 293 (297-292) for 590. Arkansas (297-298) is second with 595 followed by No. 8 Georgia with 598 (300-398), No. 7 Alabama with 614 (307-307) and No. 32 South Carolina (300-319) and No. 10 Auburn (310-309) rounding out the top five with a 619.

The rest of the field includes No. 19 LSU (310-310) with 620, No. 26 Vanderbilt (308-317) at 625, Ole Miss (309-317) with 626, No. 16 and host Tennessee (316-312) with 628, Mississippi State (319-318) at 637) and Kentucky (326-319) in 12th place with 645.

Play continues at Tennessee National with the final round scheduled for 8:00 a.m. central tee times Sunday. For more information regarding Razorback women’s golf or University of Arkansas athletics please visit www.LADYBACKS.com.



Sports Category : Golf (W)