TULSA, Okla. – California had its lowest round of the tournament thus far with a 289 Thursday as the third round concluded at the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships held at the Tulsa Country Club.
Senior Nicola Rössler jumped to 18th on the individual leaderboard to lead the Golden Bears up to 20th as a team with a 296-305-289=890 (+50). Duke moved into the lead with an 856 (+16) with 18 holes remaining at the national championship while USC (862, +22) and Oklahoma (867, +27) round out the top three.
“Things set up pretty nice today,” California head coach Nancy McDaniel said. “We weren’t able to take advantage of it as much as we would’ve liked. Even with the plus nine today, we felt like we left a lot of putts out there. We played the course really well but couldn’t’ get the putts to drop. Law of averages says they’ll drop soon.”
Rössler continues to perform well in her final collegiate tournament after carding a 1-over 71 in Thursday’s third round to bring her 52-hole score to 70-75-71=216 (+6). The senior had her most steady round of the tournament with one birdie and two bogeys – the birdie coming on the 161-yard par-3 6th.
“She’s been great,” McDaniel said. “She’s been the one that really put the ball in good paces throughout the last three rounds. She’s being really patient on the green. Everything is clicking for her right now. She’s hoping she can go out with a great round tomorrow and really lead this team to the end of the season.”
Sophomore Carly Childs was one of three Golden Bears to also post her lowest individual round of the tournament after carding a 72 Thursday. Childs birdied the par-4 2nd and 8th holes to move her three-round score to 74-74-72=220 (+10).
“Carly is really steady for us,” McDaniel said. “She’s coming up really big for us consistently. If we can get everyone clicking tomorrow it will be a good round to end the season on.”
Similarly, freshman Lucia Gutierrez and junior Jo Ee Kok also hit their low rounds of the tournament Thursday with identical 73’s.
The duo have both combined to lower their scores with each subsequent round of the tournament. Gutierrez, who sits in a tie for 104th individually, moved from a 79 in the first round to a 78 Wednesday and a 73 today, bringing her score to 230 (+20). Kok has improved by multiple strokes in each round and is tied for 116th individually. The junior shot an 82 Tuesday followed by a 78 Wednesday and a 73 today to bring her score to 233 (+23). Both hit two birdies Thursday as Gutierrez shot under on the 6th and 15th, and Kok shot under on the 1st and 15th.
Sophomore Hannah Suh sits in the middle of the California lineup with a 73-80-75=228 (+18) after three rounds. Suh is tied for 93rd on the individual leaderboard.
The final round of the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships takes place Friday with tee times scheduled for 7 a.m. (CT). The Bears will be paired with Florida and Michigan State.
COURSE: Tulsa Country Club (6,194 yards, par-70) – Tulsa, Okla.