CMS Women's Golf Vaults Up to Fourth at Midway Point of NCAA Division III Championships

Amy Xue shot a 75 on Wednesday to move into the top 10 on the individual leaderboard (photo by Christopher Mitchell)
Amy Xue shot a 75 on Wednesday to move into the top 10 on the individual leaderboard (photo by Christopher Mitchell)

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HOUSTON, Texas - The defending national champion Claremont-Mudd-Scripps women's golf team improved its odds of a repeat on Wednesday by moving up from ninth place to fourth at the midway point of the NCAA Women's Golf Championships at Bay Oaks Country Club.

After shooting a 315 on Tuesday in the opening round, CMS improved by 12 shots on Wednesday's round with a 303, one shot behind NYU for the lowest score of the day. CMS now stands at 618, five shots behind NYU in first place at 613, with Methodist in second at 614.

Williams, which tied CMS for the team title through 72 holes last year before the Athenas won in a playoff, is in third place at 615. After CMS, there is a four-shot dropoff into fifth place, where Carleton stands at 622, and a seven-shot drop to sixth, held by DePauw with a 625. 

Freshman Amy Xue remained in strong contention for the individual title as well, carding a 75 to stand at +7 after two rounds, in a tie for eighth, but just two shots off the lead, held by three players (Nina Kouchi of Grinnell, Ziyi Wang of Carleton and Emily Salamy of Rhodes). Xue had four birdies on her round on Wednesday, three on the front nine and then one more on No. 18 to take some momentum into tomorrow's third round. 

Sophomore Mira Yoo is just two shots behind Xue at +9 after shooting a 74 for the team's low round of the day. Yoo started her day with a double-bogey on the first hole, but then played exceptionally solid golf over the last 17 holes, tallying one birdie, one bogey and 15 pars to move up 24 spots into a tie for 15th place, four shots off the lead. 

Senior Kelly Ransom and junior Emma Kang had 77s on Wednesday as the third and fourth scorers for the Athenas. Ransom played her front nine at 2-under, with birdies on No. 2, No. 7 and No. 9, while Kang picked up two birdies on her second round. They both currently stand in a tie for 29th place at the midway point at +13. 

The third round gets underway tomorrow morning, as the Athenas will try to continue their recent tradition of playing better in the later rounds of every tournament to earn victories. CMS shot a 318 in its first round of the SCIAC Championships (April 18-20) to trail by 12, then shot a 303 on the second day and a 294 on the third day to win by 19 strokes. At the second SCIAC regular season championship (April 6-7), the Athenas shot a school-record 291 during the second round to pull away for the win. At the two-round Bulldog Classic (March 25-26), CMS shot a 305 for the first round and a 295 on the second round to come back from fourth place to win it, and at the George Fox Invitational (March 16-17), the Athenas followed an opening-round 301 with a 294 to win by 12.