Aztec senior Sirene Blair tied for 12th individually after 36 holes
Photo: Sirene Blair courtesy goaztecs.com
April 8, 2017 (Tempe, Ariz.) - The San Diego State women’s golf team moved up one spot into 10th place on Saturday after shooting a 4-over-par 292 during the second round of the PING/ASU Invitational at Karsten Golf Course. With their total, the Aztecs find themselves nine shots out of the top five with a 54-hole score of 14-over 590 heading into Sunday’s final round on the par-72, 6,337-yard layout.
Individually, SDSU was led by senior Sirene Blair, who climbed 14 places on the leaderboard into a tie for 12th at even-par 144 after shooting a 71. Starting on the 10th, the three-time all-Mountain West performer offset a trio of bogeys with four birdies, including three after the turn, for her team-leading ninth round of the season below par .
Fellow classmate Natalie Vivaldi (Oceanside, Calif.) made the biggest jump in the standings for the Scarlet and Black, vaulting 29 spots into an eight-way tie for 39th at 5-over 149 on the heels of a 70. The Rancho Buena Vista High alumna notched her lowest round of the spring, highlighted by four birdies and 13 pars, while recording just one blemish on her scorecard, a double-bogey on the par-3 16th.
Conversely, the rest of the Aztec starting lineup lost ground on the leaders Saturday, including Georgia Lacey, who slipped four places into a tie for 47th at 6-over 150 after shooting her second straight 75. The SDSU junior shared the team lead with four birdies, including an impressive conversion on the par-4, 370-yard 18th, which ranked as the fourth-toughest hole of the round. However, Lacey was undone by a triple-bogey on her second green at the par-4 No. 11, along with four bogeys after the turn.
Meanwhile, Fernanda Escauriza (Asunción, Paraguay), who entered the day in a tie for 18th, tumbled all the way down into the 61st position at 8-over 152 after a carding a second-round 80. The Aztec freshman found birdies elusive on Saturday and was unable to recover from a rash of five bogeys on the front nine before experiencing three more on the back.
Elsewhere, Haleigh Krause (Eugene, Ore.) dropped 10 spots into a tie for 70th at 10-over 154 despite shaving two strokes off her opening-round total of 78. The SDSU junior sank three birdies for the day, including a conversion of her own at No. 18. She also added a drain after the turn at the par-4 323-yard No. 2 to get to 1-under for her round, but consecutive double-bogeys on the par-5 fifth and the par-3 sixth, derailed her momentum.
The Aztec delegation also included Kitty Tam (Hong Kong, China) an individual competitor who trimmed six strokes of her previous round with a 77 to move up one spot into 77th position at 16-over 160. The SDSU sophomore finished with two birdies for the day, including a success at the par-3, 165-yard No. 12, which ranked as the sixth-toughest hole of the second round.
Host Arizona State (-10) maintained its lofty perch in the team standings, but intrastate rival Arizona (-7) narrowed the gap after shooting a collective 6-under 282 on Saturday, while Baylor (-1) slipped to third, followed by UNLV (+1), Washington (+5) and Kansas State (+5).
Individually, ASU’s Monica Vaughn (-8) owns a two-shot advantage over fellow teammate Roberta Liti (-6) and Arizona’s Krystal Quihuis (-6), while KSU’s Paige Nelson (-5) lurks in fourth place.
The PING/ASU Invitational concludes on Sunday when San Diego State tees off alongside Missouri and New Mexico for the final round, starting at 7:30 a.m. PDT on hole No. 10.
Round Two Results
Par 72, 6,337 yards
Team Scores (Top 5 of 14 teams + SDSU)
1. Arizona State 278-288—566 (-10)
2. Arizona 287-282—569 (-7)
3. Baylor 278-297—575 (-1)
4. UNLV 289-288—577 (+1)
T5. Kansas State 294-287—581 (+5)
T5. Washington 287-294—581 (+5)
10. San Diego State 298-292—590 (+14)
Individual Leaders (Top 5 of 81 players + SDSU)
1. Monica Vaughn, Arizona State 64 (-8)
T2. Krystal Quihuis, Arizona 70-68—138 (-6)
T2. Roberta Liti, Arizona State 69-69—138 (-6)
4. Paige Nelson, Kansas State 69-70—139 (-5)
5. Haley Moore, Arizona 71-69—140 (-4)
T12. Sirene Blair, SDSU 73-71—144 (E)
T39. Natalie Vivaldi, SDSU 79-70—149 (+5)
T47. Georgia Lacey, SDSU 75-75—150 (+6)
T61. Fernanda Escauriza, SDSU 72-80—152 (+8)
T70. Haleigh Krause, SDSU 78-76—154 (+12)
77. Kitty Tam, SDSU* 83-77—160 (+16)
* – competing as an individual