NCAA women's golf: Arizona surging in East Lansing, where they're 'tired of the naysayers'

Haley Moore Arizona NCAAs edited John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports

NCAA women's golf: Arizona surging in East Lansing, where they're 'tired of the naysayers'

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NCAA women's golf: Arizona surging in East Lansing, where they're 'tired of the naysayers'

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Arizona came into NCAA regionals with something to prove. Sounds strange coming from a group that won it all last year, but head coach Laura Ianello says her team is hungry.

“Everybody is just tired of the naysayers, that they can’t play,” said Ianello. “I think they’re just ready to give it their all.”

The motto “Bear Down” was in full swing at the East Lansing Regional on Tuesday where Arizona carded the day’s best round, 4-under 284, at Forest Akers West Golf Course. Weather pushed tee times back to 2:45 p.m., when the entire field went off in a shotgun start.

REGION SCORES: Auburn | Cle Elum | Norman | East Lansing

Kent State continues to lead the field at 3-under 573. The Wildcats are one shot back on the strength of a pair of 70s from Haley Moore and Sandra Nordaas. Moore, the heroine of last year’s NCAA finale, struck a 3-wood from 230 yards out on the par-5 17th thats stopped 1 inch from the hole. She backed up that eagle with a birdie on the 18th.

Yu-Sang Hou kept it steady at 1-under 71 despite feeling ill. Hou came down with a fever the day before the team left for Michigan. She has lost both her appetite and her voice.

Ianello said the biggest thing she noticed with her team this season is that while they’re bombers off the tee, that could be pretty “horrific” around the greens. For the last month Ianello has placed an emphasis on short game, having her players miss greens on purpose in practice to try and get up and down.

It paid off at Pac-12s, where the Wildcats finished second to USC and is proving key this week too.

LIVE BLOG: Everything you need to know from regional play

Hoosiers Still in the Hunt

Indiana mostly held steady in East Lansing, dropping only one spot in the team race and currently sitting inside the cutline in a share of fifth. It will take a gutsy final day from the 49th-ranked Hoosiers to advance to the NCAA Championship for the first time in a dozen years. IU carded 11 birdies on the back nine at Forest Akers.

Chips shots

UCLA turned in the day’s second-best showing thanks to a rousing performance from Patty Tavatanakit, who played a seven-hole stretch in six under. Tavatanakit shot 66 to lead the individual race by four strokes. … Top-seeded Stanford climbed up four spots to fourth thanks to a 2-over performance. The Cardinal moved up four spots and are in a share of fourth. …. Host Michigan State had a rough day on the front nine at their home course. The Spartans had to count two 79s on Tuesday and are three shots back of the cutline.

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