Women's golf stays in the hunt at Championship
CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Northern Colorado coach Brandon White was pleased with the performance his team turned in Tuesday during the second round of the 2011 Big Sky Conference Women's Golf Championship at Ocotillo Golf Resort.
His Bears, afterall, signed off on a 305 team score -- a three-stroke improvement from Monday -- and will enter tomorrow's final round in fourth place, just 13 strokes behind second-place Northern Arizona.
Portland State carded a 287 Tuesday, though -- the second-lowest round in Big Sky Championship history -- and is on the cusp of a second consecutive conference crown.
The Vikings' historic score somewhat dampened an otherwise banner day for White and his program.
NC's Tuesday total is its second-lowest in four years of Championship play (300 in 2010) and 13 strokes lower than its 2010-11 team round average. It's also the Bears' second-lowest team round this season (297; Wigwam)
"We played well again today," White said. "Our overall score was a little better than yesterday, but we're still pretty similar in our positioning. Portland State played great today and really separated themselves from the field. They are probably a little out of range. If they play well tomorrow, they are probably going to run away from this field.
"We're hanging tight with NAU, though, and only two shots out of third in Montana. A top-three finish would be a very respectable finish, and I think we'd all be happy with that, knowing that Portland State and NAU are two of the best teams in this conference."
Sophomore Carleigh Silvers led the way for the Bears on Tuesday with an even-par 72, which has her at 148 strokes for the Championship and in a tie for fourth. Teammate Ali Nelson shot a 5-over 72 and is tied for 10th with 152 strokes (+8).
Portland State's Britney Yada fired a 4-under 68 Tuesday to lead the field.
"We had a good round from Carleigh Silvers today," White said. "She feels comfortable on this golf course after winning here a week-and-a-half ago in Wyoming's tournament. Hopefully we'll get another good round out of her tomorrow. We've got her and Ali (Nelson) both in the top 10, and that's a real positive for our program."
Portland State sits at 590, 10 shots in front of NAU headed into Wednesday's final round. The Vikings entered Tuesday's second round with a one-shot lead over the Lumberjacks and Montana.
The Grizzlies shot a 307 Tuesday and are in third place with a 611.
"Like I said yesterday," White said. "We need a five-player effort tomorrow. We need everybody to play well and try and shoot a low round. We'll see what happens and see where we finish."