Bears will take 36-hole record, second place into Tuesday final
By JORDAN FREEMYER
CHANDLER, Ariz. -- The Northern Colorado women's golf team established a 36-hole school record Monday at Ocotillo Golf Resort but fell from first to second after the second round of the 2012 Big Sky Conference Women's Golf Championship.
The Bears shot an 11-over par 299 Monday to bring their Championship score to 589 (+13) -- the best 36-hole mark in school history and a score that has them just two shots behind tournament-leaders Sacramento State (587, +11).
Northern Colorado was led Monday by senior Chelsea Silvers, who shot an even-par 72 in the second round to put herself in a tie for second among individuals with a two-round score of 143 (-1).
"Another day of breaking records," Northern Colorado coach Brandon White said. "Yesterday with the low 18-hole [mark] and then today with our low 36 holes."
Silvers birdied three of her first six holes Monday and held the lead as she made the turn but shot 38 (+6) on the back nine to fall behind Sacramento State's Lexie Hall, who leads the tournament with a score of 141 (-3).
Silvers' sister, junior Carleigh Silvers, held the lead for a bit Monday, too, after pulling in front of everyone in the field early in the day with a birdie on the par-4 third hole. She finished the day with a 2-over 73 and is in fourth after two rounds with a score of 144, good for even par.
Senior Ali Nelson put up a third solid score for Northern Colorado on Monday with a 3-over 75. Nelson, who won the 2009 Big Sky Conference individual championship, will enter tomorrow's final round tied for 15th with a two-day score of 152 (+8).
"We had another good job today from our top three," White said. "Chelsea, Carleigh and Ali all did a great job today."
Junior Libby Avery counted the fourth Bears score with a 7-over 79. She is tied for 25th at 155 (+11).
Junior Hannah McNeley finished even through Sunday's 18 holes but struggled a bit today, coming into the clubhouse after 153 strokes (+9) and is tied for 17th.
"We played another very respectable round today," White said. "Not quite as good as yesterday, but we're still in good position."
The Championship appears to be down to a three-team race, with the Hornets, Bears and Northern Arizona Lumberjacks (595, +19) the only teams under 600. The Hornets and Lumberjacks were picked as the top two teams in the Big Sky at the start of the season, while the Bears were projected fifth.
Northern Colorado will look to prove those prognostications wrong tomorrow when it aims for its first Big Sky women's golf title in Tuesday's third and final round.
"We were an underdog coming into this tournament, so we're excited to be in contention, and, hopefully, we can put together a great round tomorrow and come out with a conference championship," White said.