ERIE, Colo.—Stanford remains in first place here through
two rounds of the 2012 NCAA West Regional, but the story brewing is who will
qualify for the NCAA Championship, as it looks like it will come down to a
shootout between 10 to 13 teams for the final four spots.
The top eight teams will advance to the Legends Course in
Franklin, Tenn., and the top four spots look to be somewhat solid, with
Stanford’s two-round total of 4-over par 580 leading the way followed closely
by LSU, just one stroke behind at 5-over par 581. Then both North Carolina and UCLA are tied
for third at 10 over par 586.
Then the next four spots could all be up for grabs. Baylor is in the best position at 17-over par
593, and the Bears have just one stroke over Texas Tech (594) while Pepperdine
(596) and California (597) would both make the cut as it stands through two
The teams on the outside looking in then include host
Colorado and Illinois, who are just one stroke behind California at 22-over par
298 and just two strokes behind the Buffaloes and Illini are Tulsa, UC Davis
and San Jose State, all tied for 11th at 24-over par 600. Oklahoma is in 14th place at 25-over 601,
while UNLV (603), Iowa State (604) and TCU (606) are also within striking
distance less than nine strokes out of ninth place.
The first teams out on the course tomorrow could prove to
determine whose season continues and whose abruptly comes to an end, as
Pepperdine, California and Illinois will all tee off of the No. 1 at 7:30 a.m.
while Colorado, Tulsa and UC Davis will tee off on No. 10 at the same
Those six teams are bunched within four strokes of each
other and depending on the outcome of some different teams, the final two spots
could be pulled from those six.
Individually, North Carolina’s Catherine O’Donnell leads
the way with a 5-under par 139 on the strength of a 3-under par 69 in the
second round. Her second round score was
matched by LSU’s Austin Ernst, who is one stroke behind overall at 4-under par
140. The top five players are all under
par through 36 holes, as Stanford teammates Sydney Burlison (3-under 141) and
Sally Watson (2-under 140) are third and fourth, respectively, followed by
Baylor’s Hayley Davis, who is 1-under par 143.
The top two individuals, either from a team not advancing
or the six individuals already in the field, will also advance to the NCAA
Championships. If things held as they do
now, San Jose State’s Megan Osland would advance and there would be a playoff
between Iowa State’s Punpaka Phuntumabamrung and Oklahoma’s Chirapat
Jao-Javanil for the final spot.
The top 12 teams in the field and all six individuals will
comprise the morning wave, but there are handful of teams that are very much
alive in the afternoon wave, so things won’t be decided until the early evening
hours mountain time.