Thursday was a good news/bad news day at the NCAA Women's Golf Championships for Purdue. The good news is that Purdue moved up in the overall standings into a three-way tie for third place with Alabama and UCLA. The bad news is that No. 1 Southern Cal is running away with the field.
Last week at the West Regional Purdue finished second to USC by just one stroke, giving promise for this week's championships. The Trojans took a big lead on Wednesday, however, by firing a 276. That was the best team round of hte tournament by far and the only one under 284. Yesterday they had a 285 to stand at 19-under for the event.
Duke is in second place at just 2-under, so USC has a comfortable 17 stroke cushion heading into today. Purdue, UCLA, and Alabama are at 9-over, meaning Purdue needs an utter collapse by USC to win and second place is still 11 strokes away from second too. Still, Purdue is in the final pairing for the fourth straight season and who knows what can happen.
It is amazing Purdue is in third place as they fired a 295 as a team, six strokes over their first two days each. They spent a good portion of the day at about 12-over on the round before a solid finish.
Aurora Kan fell off the individual lead pace by firing a +5 to fall to +3 for the event. Paula Reto is in seventh place individually as Purdue's best golfer at -1 after yesterday's -2. She birdied five of the last seven holes yesterday to have a great finish. Laura Gonzalez-Escallon was at even par yesterday and is +1 for the tournament.
Purdue's fourth and final counting golfer was Kishi Sinha, who also had a rough day with a +5 to go to +9 for the week. Margaux Vanmol was +4 yesterday and is at +12 for the week, but birdied four straight holes after a disastrous start.