Alexis Edwards carded an eagle and four birdies to lead the Cougar charge on Tuesday. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
ALBUQUERQUE -- The BYU women's golf team used a balanced effort to pass four top-20 teams on its way to third place after the second round of the Dick McGuire Invitational on Tuesday.
The Cougars moved up with a second round score of 295, one stroke better than yesterday. The Cougars also benefited from a six-stroke penalty given to Oklahoma State for a violation of NCAA rules.
The Cougars got help from each member of the team during a particularly strong second round.
"It's not just one or two players carrying the team," BYU coach Sue Nyhus said. "Any one of them can go under par on any given day."
The team effort allowed the Cougars to move past No. 5 Oklahoma State, No. 12 Texas A&M, No. 16 UNLV and No. 18 Pepperdine. The Cougars will face stiff competition from these teams during the final round tomorrow. Only nine strokes separate the top six teams. But Nyhus said the team is ready for the challenge.
"We were paired with some teams we knew were very good, but we held our ground," she said.
Nyhus said she was excited for the girls to be in contention for a win at a big event with so many highly ranked teams. She said the pollsters will need to take notice of the Cougars and make some adjustments in the rankings.
"This is just the beginning of a really great year for us," Nyhus said.
Sophomore Alexis Edwards led the Cougars by tallying a 72. Edwards stroked an eagle on the par 5 tenth hole. She cut six strokes off her Monday score, the most dramatic improvement among the Cougars. She also chipped in with four birdies. Edwards's score on Tuesday moved her up to 19th place.
Rachel Newren also carded an eagle on the fifth hole for the Cougars. The Cougars now have three eagles in two rounds. Newren moved up to 8th place and has been the Cougars' most consistent golfer during the tournament.
After a superb round on Monday, Natalie Newren added another solid round with a 3-over 76 on Tuesday to maintain a top-5 position. Danielle von Armin cut four strokes off her first round score to tally a 75. Freshman Juli Wightman continued to play like a veteran by playing 1-over golf on Tuesday, which was second best on the team.
Margaret Gibby scored a 77 during the second round with two birdies.
The final round of the Invitational begins Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. with live coverage at golfstat.com.
STANDINGS AFTER TWO ROUNDS
1. Georgia 287-299--586 (+2)
2. New Mexico 292-296--588 (+4)
3. Brigham Young 296-295--591 (+7)
4. Pepperdine 293-299--592 (+8)
5. Oklahoma St. 299-295--594 (+10)
6. Arkansas 299-296--595 (+11)
7. Baylor 299-304--603 (+19)
8. Texas A&M 298-306--604 (+20)
9. UNLV 297-308--605 (+21)
10. TCU 300-308--608 (+24)
11. New Mexico St. 301-309--610 (+26)
12. Hawaii 305-313--618 (+34)
13. Kansas 308-312--620 (+36)
14. Texas Tech. 309-312--621 (+37)
T15. UTEP 307-328--635 (+51)
T15. Northern Arizona 315-320--635 (+51)
17. San Diego St. 322-316--638 (+54)
COUGARS' STANDINGS AFTER TWO ROUNDS
T5. Natalie Newren 69-76
T8. Rachel Newren 72-74
T26. Juli Wightman 77-74
T19. Alexis Edwards 78-72
T38. Margaret Gibby* 76-77
T45. Danielle von Armin 79-75
*competing as an individual