Best Round Yet Helps Statesmen Make Cut for Final Day
Lincoln, Neb.–After coming up just short of breaking the 80 barrier the first two days of competition, two Statesmen linksters got into the 70s twice as the William Penn women’s golf team posted its lowest round on Day Three of the NAIA Women’s Golf National Championships Thursday.
The Statesmen tallied a 315 (+27 over par) and will go into the final round tied for 13th out of 27 teams at the par-72 Wilderness Ridge Golf Course. The program’s current total is 973 (331-327-315).
It should be a very interesting race for the title as #1 SCAD Savannah (Ga.) and #2 Oklahoma City will enter the last day tied for the lead at 914. OKC (302-309-303) and SCAD-S (304-304-306) will be paired with Cumberlands (Ky.), which is ten strokes back at 924.
Elia Folch of Oklahoma City and Alazne Urizar of SCAD Savannah are the newest individual leaders in the 144-person field at 220. Folch has posted 72-75-73, while Urizar has shot 76-71-73.
William Penn will again be paired with Cal State-San Marcos for the final 18 holes. Joining the pair will be Lewis-Clark State (Idaho). CSU-SM is tied with WPU at 973 (336-318-319), while L-CS is three shots back at 976 (330-333-313). The group’s first tee time is 8:15 a.m. on Hole #10.
The top 17 teams and top 40 individuals after the third round made the cut, while the remaining teams saw their Championships appearance come to an end Thursday.
William Penn tied for the seventh-best round of the day and is one of just six programs to have improved each time out. The squad ran into some road bumps on the front nine (+21 at the turn), but was incredible on the back at only six-over par.
As they have all season, first-team all-league performers Demi Coertze (So., Johannesburg, South Africa, Digital Communication) and Maggie Yang (Jr., Chino, Calif., Business Management) again paced the navy and gold in the third round. Coertze posted a three-over 75 (37-38), while Yang also easily made it into the 70s at 76 (39-37). They are tied for 35th at 237 with Coertze at 82-80-75 and Yang at 80-81-76.
Coertze had a birdie on the second hole and was one-under par after seven holes. Yang did not have a birdie on the day, but showed great consistency by being just one-over par in her last 11 holes of play.
Jing Yang (Fr., Woodland Hills, Calif., Biology) and Alexandria Eckenrod (Jr., Mason City, Iowa, Elementary Education) both struggled on the front side, but rebounded well on the back. Yang went 44-37 for an 81, while Eckenrod finished 45-38 for an 83. Yang is now tied for 75th at 249 (84-84-81), while Eckenrod is one back of her at 250 (85-82-83) in a tie for 77th place.
Courtney Cunningham (Fr., Muskogee, Okla., Computer Science) also finished well, posting a 45-40 for her third-straight 85 and is tied for 95th at 255 (85-85-85).
“That is the type of golf we know we can play,” Head Coach Nik Rule said. “We told them yesterday they are close and I believe that we let all the nerves go and just played WPU golf. We had to overcome some adversity from the front nine, but they showed so much heart by playing the back nine six-over as a team.”
“Our ladies sure represented William Penn University well today,” Rule added. “Everyone played better, but Maggie and Demi led the way with two awesome rounds. This team is growing up before our eyes and we have the opportunity to continue to prove we are one of the best programs in the country. Tomorrow will be fun.”