BATON ROUGE, La. – The 26th-ranked University of Arkansas women’s golf team leapfrogged up the leaderboard Saturday into a tie for first place at the LSU Golf Invitational in Baton Rouge, La.
Arkansas shaved nine strokes off its first round score counting the day’s best round with a 296 moving up from ninth into a four-way tie for the lead Saturday at the University Club, a par 72, 6,194 yard course. Arkansas is tied with top-ranked Alabama, No. 7 Virginia and No. 17 Wake Forest with 601.
"We played Arkansas golf today," head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said. "It was probably some of the best course management I’ve seen as a player or coach. The team did a great job of playing to their strengths and did a fantastic job of feeding off each other. I can’t say enough about how great their energy was today. I told them before the round that attitude equals altitude and if we have a good attitude and feed off of each other we can do anything and this group did that today."
Freshman Emily Tubert shot a two-under 70 in the second round, eight strokes better than Friday’s 78. She moved up to a tie for ninth place overall with a 148.
Tubert began her day on the first hole and quickly moved to one-under counting a four on the par five third hole. She made the turn at one-over but moved to even with a birdie on the 11th. After a bogey on the 12th hole, Tubert rallied with three birdies in the final five holes.
"Emily fought hard today," Estes-Taylor said. "She had a bunch of birdies down the stretch and really finished strong."
Sophomore Victoria Vela also finished strong moving into a tie for 11th with a second round 73 for 149. Vela was even at the turn and had moved to two-over at the 15th hole but she dropped a stroke on the par five 17th hole and came into the clubhouse with a par on the 18th.
"Vicky did a fantastic job of getting ball in the hole today, "Estes-Taylor said. "She got it up and down from about 200 yards on the last hole and finished well."
Senior Kelli Shean moved up into a tie for 22nd overall with a second round 74 for a 151. Redshirt freshman Emma Lavy is tied for 48th with a 156 that includes rounds of 74-82 and senior Corinna Rees rounds out the Razorback scoring. Rees is tied for 65th with 160 shooting 81-79.
"The course played difficult today," Estes-Taylor said, "and we definitely out-smarted it."
The Razorbacks and the three other teams on top of the leaderboard have a one-stroke lead over No. 4 Duke and No. 18 Tennessee who are tied for fifth place with 602. Host and No. 5 LSU is seventh with 605, followed by No. 25 Texas A&M with 606, No. 42 Louisville in ninth with 612 and No. 11 Tulane in 10th with 614 in the 21-team field.
"We have a good opportunity tomorrow to win this golf tournament," Estes-Taylor. "We need to go out and focus on our game plan and if we do that we can play with anyone in the country."
Play concludes Sunday with a shotgun start beginning at 8:30 a.m.