PALO ALTO, Calif. – University of Arkansas sophomore Alana Uriell posted a second-round 33-34 — 67 and is tied for the lead guiding the No. 7 Razorbacks up the leaderboard to fifth place at the Stanford University NCAA Regional Championship in Palo Alto, California, Friday.
Uriell’s four-under was the lowest individual round in the tournament so far and propelled the Razorbacks up three spots to fifth place with a round of 291. Arkansas is in the clubhouse shooting 298-291 — 589. Arkansas is two strokes better than sixth-place No. 45 North Carolina and five shots back of fourth place No. 15 Virginia.
Circumstances seemed stacked against the Razorbacks on a day they needed some things to go right and to catch some breaks. Head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor battled flu-like symptoms Thursday night extending into the round on Friday. A couple doses of medicine, some ginger ale and crackers and Estes-Taylor didn’t miss a hole.
Junior Summar Roachell ripped the wheel off her push cart shortly after the start of her round. She carried her bag for a hole, used a course-provided rickshaw cart for a couple of holes and had a replacement cart by the 10th tee.
And then there was the ninth hole. Arkansas struggled with the eighth and ninth holes, playing them plus-11 in the first round but rallied on Friday playing those same holes one-under in the round.
By the midpoint of the round, the winds had picked up and the temps dropped to the mid-50s. The rain began and was steady not long after the Razorbacks made the turn.
But none of that bothered Arkansas.
Uriell carded six birdies and two bogeys playing two-under golf on each side. She is tied with Stanford’s Mariah Stackhouse after shooting 72-67 — 139. Freshman Cara Gorlei also continues to play well at the Regional. Gorlei is tied for 14th overall shooting 72-73 — 145.
Freshman Maria Fassi and senior Regina Plasencia round out the Razorbacks’ scoring. The duo are tied for 62nd overall, each shooting 77-76 — 153 over two rounds.
Roachell was one-under on the front nine, rallying from a plus-4 performance on the same holes Thursday. Teams were backed up on No. 10 and Roachell had a 30+ minute wait throwing off her rhythm but she finished strong with a 34-41 — 75.
At the halfway mark, Arkansas had moved up a couple spots on the leaderboard. Three players, Uriell, Roachell and Gorlei, were all under par while Fassi was plus-two and Plasencia was plus-three. All of the numbers were improvements over round one’s front nine.
From Shauna Estes-Taylor
Alana just did a fantastic job today. To shoot four-under par on this golf course shows she did a lot of good stuff. She is a tremendous ball striker already and then her putter got hot today and that is what she is capable of. I’m really proud of her round and her effort today. I also think Cara did a nice job fighting for us all day long. It got tough in the middle of the round with the rain and conditions but she stayed strong. Summar as well – she started strong and dropped a few in the middle of the round. She kinda got it back at the end with a nice put to save par on 18. Cara got it up-and-down on the last hole and Maria birdied the last hole to help us finish strong. We have one more day in front of us and we have to go out and take care of business. This team is ready and prepared and they know what they have to do.
From Alana Uriell
I just felt really comfortable over most of my shots. I practiced a lot leading up to this and I was comfortable with the mindset I had as well. It’s just that time of year for me I guess.
5 Arkansas 298-291 — 589 +21
T1 Alana Uriell (3) 72-67 — 139 -3
T14 Cara Gorlei (5) 72-73 — 145 +3
T56 Summar Roachell (4) 77-75 — 152 +10
T62 Maria Fassi (1) 77-76 — 153 +11
T62 Regina Plasencia (2) 77-76 — 153 +11
1. No. 12 Stanford 289-280 — 569 +1
2. No. 2 Southern Cal 287-284 — 571 +3
T3. No. 31 Ohio State 299-285 — 584 +16
T3. No. 15 Virginia 288-296 — 584 +16
5. No. 7 ARKANSAS 298-291 — 589 +21
6. No. 45 North Carolina 302-289 — 591 +23
7. No. 42 Michigan State 291-301 — 592 +24
8. No. 49 Pepperdine 298-295 — 593 +25
9. No. 39 Wake Forest 295-299 — 594 +26
T10. No. 18 UNLV 300-295 — 595 +27
T10. No. 34 Colorado 295-300 — 595 +27
12. No. 21 San Diego State 299-297 — 596 +28
13. No. 26 Texas Tech 291-307 — 598 +30
14. San Jose State 299-301 — 600 +32
15. Idaho 300-304 — 604 +36
16. Richmond 306-312 — 618 +50
17. UC Riverside 306-313 — 619 +51
18. Seton Hall 310-315 — 625 +57
• This is Arkansas’ 15th NCAA Regional appearance – the 14th consecutive NCAA Regional appearance
• Arkansas has advanced to the NCAA Championship from the NCAA Regional seven times as a team
• Arkansas’ best NCAA Regional finis as a team is third (2015) and tied for third (2013)
• Arkansas’ best individual finish is a tie for second by #ProHogs Gabriela Lopez and Alana Uriell in 2015 in St. George, Utah
• There are four NCAA Regional sites and the top six teams from each of the four sites move on to the NCAA Championship