Women's East Regional: Vandy keeps lead
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Team leader: Vanderbilt (10-under 566)
Individual leader: Mariah Stackhouse, Stanford (5-under 139)
In position (the next seven): 2. Duke (572), T-3. Tulane (574), T-3. South Carolina (574) 5. Virginia (575), 6. Stanford (577), 7. North Carolina State (580), 8. Campbell (581)
Chasing (still work to do): 9. Florida State (585), 10. Pepperdine (587) 11. Texas State (588) 12. East Tennessee State (589)
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Amy Bond let her assistant coaches do the heavy-lifting this week. The Florida State head coach has hosting duties this week in Tallahassee, but said she chose to let her assistants coach the team so she could see more golf.
Bond tried it for the first time at the ACC Championship and found that it worked well. Two players in particular – Lydia Gumm and Carlton Kuhlo – wanted a coach to walk all 18 holes, and Bond said the assistants have unique bonds with each player.
Because she wasn’t a designated coach, Bond could do nothing more than clap and give her players funny looks during the first two rounds. Oh, and keep track of the team’s favorite goodies: chocolate milk and beef jerky.
The Seminoles are in ninth place heading into the final round, four strokes behind Campbell and in line with several other teams who are in position to strike. Bond hasn’t decided whether or not she will take back the reins for the final round.
“It was hard for me to keep my hands off today,” she said.
Imagine how difficult tomorrow might be.
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Seton Hall’s ascension the last four years can be summed up by their play at the conference championship. When Seton Hall made its debut at the Big East Championship in 2011, the Pirates finished last, 69 strokes behind the next-to-the-last team. Last month, the young program won the Big East title by seven strokes.
“I never really thought in four years we’d be at regionals,” said Sara Doell, who started the program from scratch. Seton Hall’s conference title earned them an automatic bid to the NCAA East Regional, where they’ve shot 302-301. That’s significantly better than the team’s 309 season average.
Senior Hannah Basalone was all set to play Division III women’s golf for NYU when the California girl received an email from Seton Hall.
“Mom, what’s Seton Hall?” Basalone asked. Her father and brother, familiar with the school’s men’s basketball team, filled her in.
The chance to help start a Division I program was too intriguing to pass, so Basalone abandoned her NYU plans and joined a four other freshmen and a couple walk-ons for a new adventure.
“It wasn’t completely defeating, but it was tough,” said Basalone of those early big losses.
She’s the only one left from that original team that’s here in Tallahassee and calls the Big East rout “surreal”.
After regionals, the English major will head to Boston College for a Master’s degree.
One more round and then a chapter will close for Basalone, but it will never be forgotten.
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South Carolina’s 5-under 283 was the lowest round of Day 2 and moved the Gamecocks from a tie for 11th to a share of third. Three Gamecocks posted 2-under 70s and Sarah Schmelzer bogeyed her last two holes to shoot 73. “That showed our depth,” said South Carolina head coach Kalen Harris. ... Stanford’s Mariah Stackhouse flew the ninth green (her last hole) considerably with her second shot but managed a terrific up and down to lead the individual race at 5 under. But that wasn’t the most impressive finish for the Cardinal. Marissa Mar holed out for eagle on the difficult par-4 ninth to shoot 73. “You should hear how many three-putts I had,” Mar said shortly after taking the ball out of the hole. ... Duke’s Sandy Choi picked a fine time to post her first round in the 60s. Choi shot 68 in Round 2 and needed only 26 putts. She’s tied for second with teammate Celine Boutier. ... Tough day for eighth-seeded Auburn. The Tigers dropped to a tie for 15th after a second-round 301. ... Campbell, seeded 17th, worked its way into the morning wave and the top eight with a 290. The Fighting Camels last qualified for an NCAA Championship in 1997.