Welch In Sole Possession Of Second At Midway Point Of NCAA Championships
May 21, 2003
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - - Washington State sophomore Kim Welch holds sole possession of second place at the midway point of the NCAA Women's Golf Championships at the Kampen Golf Course at the Birck Boilermaker Complex.
Welch entered Wednesday's second round tied for 10th but an even-par 72 vaulted her up eight positions on the leaderboard. Welch's score tied her with two others for the lowest second round score in the 126-person field.
Welch is at 4-over-par (148) after 36 holes of the championship, one shot behind Annie Thurman of Oklahoma State.
As extraordinary as firing the lowest score in the second round of the national championships may be, it is all the more impressive considering the fact that Welch posted her score despite a lost ball on the par-5 16th hole.
Welch's second shot from 240 yards out found the tall, thick rough situated just five yards right of the green. Despite the best efforts to find the ball by Welch, her fellow competitors, officials and bystanders in the allotted five minutes it was not and Welch was forced to replay her shot (now her fourth shot) from the same position where her original second shot took place. This time her approach found the green and she two-putted for bogey. Welch completed her round with pars on 17 and 18.
On a day where the wind remained but the rain stayed away, the Cougars posted a score of 321 as a team, an improvement of 22 shots from Tuesday's first round. All five players improved their score from the first round. Along with Welch's score, Maria Kostina posted an 81, Stephanie Parsley and Jay-Lee Longbottom an 84 and Ashleigh Gilhuly an 85.
The Cougars will begin the third round from the first tee at 8 a.m. Central Standard Time. Welch is scheduled to begin her round at 8:40 a.m. CST.
Kim Welch (even-par (72) to remain at 4-over-par 148)
(on the second round) "I think I just played steady today - three bogeys, three birdies - and I'm pretty satisfied with that bogey on 16. I was hoping to get a birdie out of that hole but considering the lost ball I'm happy with the bogey. I'm happy the way I played 17 and 18 after that because that kind of rattled me."
(on what was key to her round) "Fairways and greens. I drove it well and hit a lot of greens. I made birdies when I could two-putt on par 5's and made pars when I was on the green in two."
(on her fourth shot at 16) "I think I just wanted to play a safe shot and get it on the green. I definitely didn't want to be left of the green. I think that settled me down a bit."
(on the weather conditions) "I think they were perfect. It was windy but you can't really ask for a better day than this. You have to expect some elements. I'm happy that it wasn't yesterday."
Coach Walt Williams
(on the team's performance in the second round) "I thought we played a little better today and toughened up down the stretch. We still had a bad start but it got a little better. They seemed to get more comfortable as we went. I would be surprised if we didn't show improvement tomorrow because we played better on the back than we did on the front today. Kim continues to play phenomenally and the others seem to be getting a little more comfortable with each hole that passes. Perhaps we can put it together and maybe pass somebody tomorrow or the next day."
(on if the play of Kim Welch has surprised him) "She really doesn't surprise me anymore since the final round of the Pac-10 Championship when she shot 2-under in miserable conditions and was low in the field by two shots that day. I think that just buoyed her confidence to where she thinks she can play with anybody and at this point I have to agree with her. I think she can play with anybody. She is as good as there is."
(on if 16 was the most impressive part of Welch's round) "Sixteen was tremendously impressive. To hit a ball in the junk right by the green where two guys were and you think 'If I hit one off-line these guys are going to see it.' She didn't hit it very far off-line, it was maybe five yards right of the green and two guys are standing right there and neither one of them saw it. If anything were going to shake you up you'd think that would. She looked for it for five minutes, the USGA official took her in the cart back to the 240-yard mark where she hit it from and she smoked a 4-wood right up on the green, two-putted for bogey and went to the next hole. She didn't let it affect the next few shots and she finished with par-par right after that on two very difficult holes. That's pretty impressive to me to be able to do that."
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