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March 15, 2010
Rock Hill, S.C. - Jennifer Judge fired rounds of 79 and 80 on the first day of the Winthrop University Intercollegiate and stands sixth heading into the final round at the Rock Hill Country Club Monday afternoon.
Judge was simply solid on the day. She fired the fifth-lowest score in Monday's first round with a 79, then came back in the afternoon to record the round's fourth-lowest round with an 80. Her play led Upstate on the day, but it was the turnaround of her teammates in the second round that helped Upstate make great strides in the tournament.
After Upstate turned in a 356 in the first round, Johanna Ebenhag, Natalie Buch and Marissa Clontz each lowered their scores in the second round as Upstate shaved an amazing 18 strokes off of the team score from the first to second rounds. The Spartans finished with a 338 in the second round to leap over Wisconsin-Green Bay into ninth place in the 12-team tournament.
Upstate, which finished eighth in the same tournament a year ago, stands ninth heading into the final round and leads Wisconsin-Green Bay by 20 strokes. The Spartans are 14 shots out of eighth held down by High Point.
Belmont Abbey turned in rounds of 312 and 320 to post a 36-hole 632 total and takes the lead into the final round. Princeton is second at 640 and is followed by Xavier (641), Winthrop (642), Gardner-Webb (647), Presbyterian (656), Marshall (679), High Point (680), Upstate (694), Wisconsin-Green Bay (714), St. Francis (Pa.) (715) and Findlay (738).
"We got to the course at eight this morning and left just before eight tonight. It's been a long day," said Upstate head coach Todd Lawton. "I'm proud that our team score was very competitive in the second round this afternoon. Not playing last week because of the rain in Florida hurt our confidence and it showed on the course. We were timid over our shots in the first round. But, we came back and played better in the second round and saw our scores turn around."
Judge owns a 159 total and is just three shots out of fifth place and six out of the tournament lead heading into the final round.
"Jennifer played very well and just missed several good birdie opportunities," said Lawton. "She hit a lot of greens and her 22 pars in 36 holes is tied for the best in the tournament."
Ebenhag opened the tournament with a 91, but rallied by cutting 11 strokes off of her score in the second round and posted an 80 in the afternoon. Her turnaround accounted for 11 of the 18 strokes the team cut off of its score from the first round to the second.
"Johanna recovered well from a rough morning to post an 80, which was one of the lowest afternoon rounds," said Lawton. "She played the par-5s especially well."
Natalie Buch shaved eight strokes off of her score from the morning round to post an 87 in the second round, while Marissa Clontz lowered her score by six strokes. In addition to Judge's 159 total, Ebenhag stands owns a 171 total. Cheryl Lo was the third-lowest Spartan with a 182 total and was followed by Buch (182) and Clontz (188).
Anna Jang opened the tournament with rounds of 74 and 79 for a 153 total to take the lead heading into the final round. She leads by one stroke over Belmont Abbey's Meagan Wallace.