PARRISH, Fla. — Senior Kelli Shean fired a 140 leading the No. 45 University of Arkansas women’s golf team to a third-place showing after two rounds of the Central District Invitational in Parrish, Fla., in the first event of the 2010 spring.
Shean, a Cape Town, South Africa, native opened the day with a one-under 71 in the morning round and went three-under in the afternoon moving into first place in the 76-player field.
Arkansas posted a first-round 303 and bettered that to 293 in the second round and stands in third place — just five strokes out of second place.
Florida leads the field after the opening rounds. The No. 18 Gators are five-under with a 571 (290-281) after a blistering second round.
Number 34 TCU (295-296) is second with a 591. LSU (295-3030), ranked No. 12 this week, and No. 4 Purdue (295-303) are tied in fourth with 598, followed by No. 23 Texas A&M (295-308) in sixth with 603.
“We were a little competition rusty as we expected,” said Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor. “But we chipped some of that away in the second round and really got after it and moved up the leaderboard. I say this all the time but we’ve got to stay focused on our game plan and finish strong. If we do that, we’re capable of doing some really great things.”
Shean has been Arkansas’ top finisher throughout the fall and emerged in front this week as well. She fired a second-round 69 for a 140 and is in sole possession of the lead.
“I’m really proud of Kelli,” Estes-Taylor said. “She didn’t have a great day but found a way to get it in the hole. That’s a tribute to her.”
Freshman Victoria Vela made the trip and is tied for 23rd overall after two rounds. Vela fired a 79-72 for a 151. Senior Alex Schulte is tied for 30th overall with rounds of 76-76=152, followed by senior Kristin Ingram who is tied for 44th with 78-76 for a 154. Senior Corinna Rees rounds out the scores. She is tied for 53rd with a 156 (78-78).
“I’m really proud of Victoria,” Estes-Taylor said. “She came back with an even round in the second. She is a good example of the bright future this team has. Alex was really consistent today as well. She gave us the rounds we needed.”
The rest of the field includes: No. 31 Kent State (306-299) and No. 25 Ohio State (302-303) are tied for seventh with 605, No. 41 Texas (304-302) is ninth with 606, No. 10 Michigan State (294-313) is 10th with 607, No. 22 South Carolina (301-309) is 11th with 610, No. 38 Northwestern (302-310) is 12th with 612, Missouri (306-309) is 13th with 615, No. 42 Notre Dame (310-308) is 14th with 618 and Michigan (320-299) is 15th with 619.
“We’re going to let it fly tomorrow and see what happens,” Estes-Taylor said. “I think we can move up the leaderboard. We want to play solid golf and finish strong.”
Play continues and concludes Tuesday with a final round.