COLUMBIA, Mo.—The No. 17 University of Colorado women’s golf team sits in second place through 36 holes in the Fourth Annual University of Missouri Johnie Imes Invitational here Monday.
Oklahoma State leads the 15-team field with a 3-over par score of 579, shooting 5-over par 293 in the morning and a 2-under par 286 in the afternoon. The Cowgirls hold an 8-stroke advantage over the Buffaloes, who sit at 11-over par 587. The Buffs improved nine strokes between the morning and afternoon rounds, shooting a 10-over par 298 in the morning and 1-over par 289 in the second round. The Buffs hold a 1-stroke advantage over No. 20 Oklahoma (588) while Florida International (593) and Kansas State (599) round out the top five.
“Oklahoma State is historically a top team, but we’re by no means out of it,” CU coach Anne Kelly said. “We all have to play good golf tomorrow to catch them. It’s fun to be in the mix, that’s what it’s all about; it’s what we play for. We’ll go out and do our best and see what happens.
“We threw a few shots away today and that’s still frustrating, but the exciting thing is we can still get better; we haven’t played our best golf yet. Of course we want to win, but our focus is working hard this fall to improve on some things.”
A trio of Buffs carded two good rounds and junior Jessica Wallace is pacing CU on the 6,204-yard, par-72 The Club at Old Hawthorne course, turning in a 72-69—141 effort, or 3-under par to stand tied for second, just one stroke off the lead. Junior Emily Talley (75-71—146) is tied for ninth at 2-over par while freshman Kristin Coleman (73-74—147) is tied for 11th at 3-over par. Both sophomore Taylor Doyle (t-38th; 78-75—153) and freshman Jenny Coleman (t-49th; 80-75—155) shot 3-over par in the second round, improving by three and five shots from their respective first-round scores. Junior Meaghan Kari (80-83—163) is in 77th place playing individually.
“We won’t have a problem making up strokes tomorrow,” Talley said. “Everybody can find strokes. We’re playing well, but we all know we can play better and get our strokes lower.”
“If we have a solid five-player effort, we can catch them,” Wallace said. “That’s the plan going into it.”
Wallace carded nine birdies with two bogeys and two double bogeys in the 36 holes. She turned in a 4-under par 32 on the front nine in the second round, matching the best known mark in CU history. She recorded her first round in the 60s at CU and along with Talley, they both recorded their fifth round under par this season, which already ranks third in CU history for a season.
“Playing 36 holes is always tiring,” Wallace said. “To be able to play better in the second round given that is an accomplishment. I’ve been working with (assistant coach Brent Franklin) since I got here with my swing and it feels natural now, I’m not thinking about it as much. The last few weeks we’ve been working on chipping and that’s working well, too.”
“Jess played very well today,” Kelly said. “She’s playing very well to the greens and probably left a few shots on the greens. Her hard work with Brent is really paying off, and that’s fun to see.”
Talley rebounded from a rough start in which she bogeyed four of her first six holes in the first round and then played the remaining 30 holes at 2-under par. She played the back nine of the first round at 2-under par despite a double-bogey on the par 5 15th. In the two rounds, she played the back nine at 3-under par.
“The beginning of my round, for some reason, I wasn’t playing with confidence,” Talley said. “The greens are tricky, there are breaks that you have to pay attention to. Once I started doing that, I was able to pull it together and got some good birdies and finally started getting the yardage down. Tomorrow I need to start confident and not waste five holes getting there.”
Kristin Coleman played the most consistent golf for the Buffaloes in the first two rounds, combining for four birdies and seven bogeys to go with 25 pars in the first 36 holes. Doyle was under par through her first 14 holes in the second round before playing the final four holes at 4-over par. Jenny Coleman was on a bit of a roller coaster to start her second round, with two birdies and four bogeys in her first seven holes before a string of seven straight pars. She finished with 10 pars in the last 11 holes.
Princeton’s Kelly Shon is leading the field at 4-under par, carding a 70-70—140. Wallace is tied with Oklahoma State’s Courtney McKim at 3-under par 141 after posting the best round of the day, a 4-under par 68 in the second round. Oklahoma’s Ellen Mueller and OSU’s Hillary Wood are tied for fourth, three shots behind Wallace and McKim with even par 144s.
Tuesday’s final round gets underway with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. The Buffs will then return here in the spring for the Big 12 Championships.
“It’s a challenging course, I’m glad we’re playing it before the Big 12 Championships,” Kelly said. “There are a lot of blind shots and it’s definitely a course you have to play to know what you’re doing.”
“There are a lot of blind shots, it helps seeing it now, letting it settle in and coming back in the spring, it will be beneficial,” Talley said. “It’s a beautiful course, a great setting.”
t-9. Emily Talley...... 75-71—146
t-11. Kristin Coleman... 73-74—147
t-38. Taylor Doyle...... 78-75—153
t-49. Jenny Coleman..... 80-75—155
77. Meaghan Kari...... 80-83-163
TOP FIVE INDIVIDUALS
1. Kelly Shon, Princeton............ 70-70—140
2. Courtney McKim, Oklahoma State... 73-68—141
Jessica Wallace, Colorado........ 72-69—141
4. Ellen Mueller, Oklahoma.......... 73-71—144
Hillary Wood, Oklahoma State..... 72-72—144
2. Colorado................ 298-289—587
3. Oklahoma................ 292-296—588
4. Florida International... 304-289—593
5. Kansas State............ 301-298—599
6. Wisconsin............... 297-304—601
t-7. Arkansas-Little Rock.... 309-295—604
t-7. Texas State............. 307-297—604
9. Baylor.................. 306-301—607
10. Kansas.................. 306-302—608
11. Missouri................ 302-308—610
12. Princeton............... 300-311—611
13. Illinois State.......... 320-302—622
14. Missouri................ 315-313—628
15. Nebraska................ 320-314—634