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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. – Sophia Schubert stood off to the side of the hole on the 18th green with one hand on her hip. Her ball clung to the edge of the hole like there was Velcro attached to it.
“The girls in my group were like ‘Wait for it! Wait for it!’ ” said Schubert.
But the ball refused to drop. Schubert signed for a 5-under 67 to lead Texas to a 14-under 274 total, a school record in relation to par on Day 2 of the ANNIKA Intercollegiate Presented by 3M. Texas bested the school’s previous mark by three strokes.
Arkansas extended its lead at the 12-team invitational to four strokes over Texas and Stanford (280). The Razorbacks are 6 under for the tournament, one of three teams under par.
Furman posted the second-lowest tally of the day, an 11-under 277 and moved into fifth. The Paladin’s Natalie Srinivasan leads the individual race by two shots after a second-round 68 gave her a 6-under 138 total. Three players share second: UCLA’s Patty Tavatanakit (69), Stanford’s Mika Liu (72) and Maria Fassi (70) of Arkansas, who won this event last year at Reunion Resort in Orlando, Fla.
The Longhorns, who finished 13th at last year’s NCAAs, improved by 26 shots on a dreary but mostly dry round at Olympic Hills Golf Club, a stark contrast to the survival test the first day presented. There was an 84-minute weather delay late in the afternoon due to lightning in the area.
“There were a lot of ‘go’ pins,” said Texas head coach Ryan Murphy.
Four Longhorns broke par, including Emilee Hoffman (68), Greta Volker (69), Kaitlyn Papp (70) and Schubert.
Schubert’s 67 included a run of four consecutive birdies on Nos. 6-9. In that stretch she hit three wedges to within 1 1/2 feet. The 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur champ gave credit to a new wedge area at the Longhorns’ practice facility and the opening of The Spieth Lower 40, a six-hole par-3 course that opened this fall and had significant input from alum Jordan Spieth.
This marks the first time Texas has played with Schubert and accomplished freshman Agathe Laisne in the lineup as both competed in the LPGA’s Evian Championship last month. Schubert made the cut in her LPGA debut but tripled the last hole.
“I was watching a professional,” said Murphy of how Schubert handled herself in France. Murphy caddied for Schubert at both the Women’s Amateur and Evian.
Schubert, who trails by three in the individual race, said her 67 included six birdie opportunities from within 2 feet. She missed a two-footer for birdie from above the hole on the 13th.
“We’re better than we were last year, and last year I thought we were pretty good,” said Schubert. “We have a shot of winning nationals.”