ERIE, Colo. – The No. 14 seeded Stanford Cardinal received a boost from senior Sydney Burlison, who scorched the Colorado National Golf Club course with a 5-under par 67 here Thursday at the NCAA Division I Women’s Golf West Regional, hosted by the University of Colorado.
Burlison, who was injured after the first event of the season back in September, is playing in just her fifth event this season, and her 67 helped the No. 14 seed storm to the front of what is already the toughest regional field.
The 40th-ranked Cardinal were the only team under par, shooting a 1-under 287 on the strength of two subpar individual performances. Burlison was two strokes better than the field and one of just two rounds in the 60s on the day, and she was joined below par by Sally Watson, who carded a 1-under 71. Mariko Tumangan was just 1-over par 73 while Marissa Mar shot a 4-over par 76 for the final tally.
At No. 40, Stanford topped 13 teams ranked higher than they are in the latest golfstat rankings, including No. 6 North Carolina, who shot the best team score of the morning way, just one stroke behind Stanford at even par 288. Top-ranked UCLA finished third at 2-over par 290 while No. 7 LSU shot a 3-over par 291. No. 13 California and 19th-seeded Illinois round out the top five at 8-over par 296.
Right behind the Bears and Illini are the No. 10 and host Colorado Buffaloes, No. 19 Pepperdine and No. 31 Tulsa, all at 9-over par 297. Would this have been the final round, those three teams would have all been in a playoff for the final two spots, as the top eight teams and two individuals will advance to the NCAA Championships, hosted at the Legends Course in Franklin, Tenn., and hosted by Vanderbilt on May 23-26.
The lower seeded players on each team set the tone, with Burlison playing in the five spot for Stanford while North Carolina was led by Catherine O’Donnell, the fourth seeded Tar Heel, who finished the day in third with a 2-under par 70. Third place UCLA’s No. 5 player, Ani Gulugian, was even par 72 with the second best score for the Bruins behind a 1-under 71 from Lee Lopez. Fourth place LSU was paced by it’s No. 3 and No. 4 players both going under par as Austin Ernst and Jacqueline Hedwall are both 1-under 71.
In fact, you have to go down to fifth place California before a top two seeded player led their particular team and all the way to Texas Tech, in a tie for 10th place before a top-ranked player shot the best round for that school. Cal’s Daniela Holmqvist, seeded second, shot a 1-under 71 for the Bears and top seeded Gabriella Dominguez was even par 72 for the Red Raiders. Between those two were Colorado, led by No. 5 seed Kristin Coleman’s 1-under 71, and Tulsa, led by No. 4 seed Anna Young, also at 1-under 71.
The weather nearly immediately entered the area after a beautiful day that saw temperatures in the mid-80s. As is the case often in Colorado, the forecast changes hourly, but the constant in the forecast over the past few days has been to expect showers and a thunderstorm Friday and/or Saturday. As of late Thursday night, Friday sees a 40-percent chance of rain and temperatures in the high 50s, with the same Saturday with the added possibility of thunderstorms. Players will play through most rain and wind situations, but if there is a thunderstorm with lightening anywhere in the area, play will be suspended.
Things are scheduled to get under way at 7:30 a.m. Friday and the championship will conclude Saturday.