May 6, 2011
AUBURN, Wash. – Baylor women’s golf junior Chelsey Cothran slipped one spot on the leaderboard Friday, shooting an 80 in the second round of the NCAA West Regional at Washington National Golf Club. Facing constant rain and tough weather conditions, Cothran is tied for 105th overall at 18-over 162.
Tennessee’s Eric Popson continues to lead the field, increasing her lead to three strokes. While Popson owns the best score through 36 holes, Friday’s best score came from Washington’s Sadena Parks, who shot 6-under 66. Four golfers are under-par after 36 holes, but 10 posted sub-par second rounds, while another six carded even-par scores Friday.
“Coming into the second round, I was focused on hitting the ball better,” Cothran said. “Thursday was horrible for me in terms of ball-striking and I was determined to not let that happen again.”
Similar to the first round, Cothran got off to a shaky start, opening the second round with back-to-back bogeys. However, she would settle down, paring six of the final seven holes on the front nine. She pared 13 and 14 before heading to the par-4 15th hole. Cothran hit a solid drive down the middle of the fairway, but her drive landed on the lip of a huge divot which was flooded with mud.
“She’s had solid stretches in difficult conditions,” Baylor assistant coach Jordan Cox said. “Chelsey hasn’t played the best she can for an entire round, but putting together a solid 18 holes is our goal Saturday.”
From 140 yards out, her second shot narrowly missed the green, falling into the moat surrounding the green. Cothran would then post a double-bogey on 15 and also doubled on 16. The Springdale, Ark., rebounded with a birdie on the par-5 No. 17 – her first birdie of the Regional.
“The way she recovered from the double bogeys shows a lot of character and determination,” Cox said. “She really fought through another hard round, which was emotionally draining. But she stuck with it and I’m proud of her for that.”
She closed the round with a spectacular par on 18 that featured two impressive bunker shots. The first came when Cothran hit a 180-yard sand shot out of the bunker, landing just left of the pin in another bunker. Her second bunker shot rolled within three feet of the hole; Cothran then saved par to finish the second round with an 8-over 80.
“I wish I wasn’t in this position,” Cothran said. “This course is hard, but I shouldn’t be posting these scores. Now I’ll go out for the final round, play as loose as possible and see how low I can go.”
Cothran will conclude play at the 2011 NCAA West Regional with a 10:55 a.m. CDT final-round tee time Saturday. Live scoring – in addition to a live chat – will be available at www.golfstat.com.