AUBURN, Ala. – University of Arkansas freshman Emily Tubert carded an even par 72 in tough conditions and is tied for second after two rounds of the 2011 Southeastern Conference Women’s Golf Championship at the University Club in Auburn, Ala., Saturday.
The 12th-ranked Razorbacks are fifth overall after a second-day 17-over-par 305. The Razorbacks opened with a 289 for 594. Arkansas is 21 strokes behind leader No. 17 Auburn and seven strokes better than No. 11 Georgia who is sixth overall with 601 with rounds of 292-309.
Rain, hail and heavy winds rolled through the area Friday night and the winds remained throughout play on Saturday. The winds started mild as did the temperatures which were in the mid-50s. But conditions changed as the day wore on and the wind gusts were difficult for all the competitors.
Tubert, a Burbank, Calif., native opened with a three-under 69 Friday and was even for Saturday’s round. The front nine was tough with a pair of bogeys on one and six where she found the sand. Tubert made the turn plus-two but got both strokes back with birdies on 10 and 11 moving to even.
Tubert dropped another shot with a birdie on the par five 16th but bogied 17 moving back to even where she would finish. Tubert is in the clubhouse with a 141 (69-72), one stroke behind the leader, Erica Popson of Tennessee. Popson opened play with a 66 but carded 74 on Saturday form 140 – just one better than Tubert.
Razorback redshirt freshman Emma Lavy also had a good day. Lavy was one-over with a 73 pairing with the first round 74 for 147. She is tied for 11th overall.
Again it was the front nine that proved tough for Lavy. She had bogeys on five and eight with a birdie on six making the turn at one-over. Lavy birdied the 12th, bogeyed 13, birdied 16 and bogeyed 18 finishing the second nine even.
"Emily’s round today was stellar as was Emma’s," Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said. "To play in tough conditions and shooting the numbers they did was quite impressive. Obviously everyone else struggled out there and it got to a couple of them. Best thing we can do is have a short term memory and move up that leaderboard tomorrow."
Sophomore Victoria Vela moved into a tie for 23rd overall after two rounds of play. Vela opened with a 73 and posted a 78 in the wind-aided conditions Saturday for a 151.
Vela’s front nine was pretty quiet with a birdie and two bogeys as the Mansfield, Texas, native turned one-over. Vela found some trouble on 11 with a double and bogeyed two of the next three holes. She finished the back nine plus-five.
Senior Kelli Shean shot an uncharacteristic 82 in her second round paired with Friday’s 72 for 156. She is 40th overall. Shean struggled with an inner ear imbalance that gave the Cape Town, South Africa native, trouble all day.
Shean’s round had three doubles, four bogies and one par on the 12th hole.
Senior Corinna Rees also battled a higher number Saturday finishing with an 82 and a first-day 76 for 158. She is tied for 44th overall. Rees played the course five-over on each side.
"I think it is important for us to get out to a fast start tomorrow and come out of the blocks strong," Estes-Taylor said. "We have to pick good targets and get aggressive out there. We have come from behind in the past and this group is ready to go."
Host and No. 17 Auburn continues to lead the field. The Tigers posted the lowest round of the day with a 290. They are three-under with a 573. The top five includes No. 3 Alabama in second with 582, No. 8 LSU third with a 587, No. 14 Tennessee in fourth with a 593, and No. 12 Arkansas in fifth with 594.
The rest of the field includes No. 11 Georgia in sixth with 601, followed by No. 21 Vanderbilt with 602, No. 37 South Carolina at 606, No. 26 Florida with 611, Kentucky with 620, No. 41 Ole Miss with 630 and Mississippi State in 12th with 639.
Play concludes with a final round Sunday.