CHANDLER, Ariz. – Freshman Stephanie Kim posted a two-under par 70 to improve to five-under par after 36 holes to record a new conference mark after the second round of the Big Sky Conference Golf Championships presented by Black Clover at Ocotillo Golf Resort.
“It is shaping up the way with thought with three teams playing really well,” said Head Coach Brad Bedortha, who led the Lumberjacks to the team title last season. “We need all five players to play better tomorrow.”
Northern Arizona is tied for the team lead with Portland State at 15-over par 591 after a 297 in the second round. The Vikings posted a 296 in the second round. Sacramento State is seven strokes back after a second consecutive 299 at 598, while Northern Colorado is fourth overall at 612.
Kim recorded a bogey-free round with two birdies. The Phoenix native had birdies on the 518-yard, par-5 sixth hole and 341-yard, par 4 15th hole. She broke the conference mark for 36 holes set by Margaux Sheehan of 140 set in 2007.
“She is playing great and hitting good shots,” said Bedortha. “She is going about her business and it is a lot of fun to watch.”
Kim, who was named the Big Sky Player and Freshman of the Year, is attempting to become the second freshman in conference history to win the Big Sky Championship. NAU’s Sophia Choi was the first freshman to claim the tournament tile in 2005. Overall, five NAU players have won medalist honors at the Big Sky Championship, including Choi, Lauren Gray (2004), Louise Davis (1997) and Eleanor Pilgram (1996, 1998).
Kim leads teammate Megan Buck, a senior from Glendale, by six strokes after Buck posted a three-over par 75 in the second round to move to one-under par 145. Portland State’s Britney Yada is third overall at three-over par 147. Four players are tied for fourth nine strokes back at 148.
“I struggled a little bit today but finished well,” said Buck, who tied for ninth in 2009.
Buck had her first competitive eagle on the 341-yard, par-5 15th hole to help her round.
“I had a nine iron into the hole and hit it really solid,” said Buck. “I knew it was going to be close and I heard it hit the flagstick but did not see it go in. But one of spectators got excited and said it went in the hole. It was exciting.”
Junior Dakin Banta, who is from Yuma, Ariz., is 10th overall at 150 with a second consecutive three-over par 75. Junior Bethany Leclair, who is from Scottsdale, is tied for 26th with a five-over 77 at 157, while junior Alexa Kim from Chandler is tied for 29th after a 78.
The Lumberjacks will be going for their second consecutive and seventh overall Big Sky team title. The conference champion earns an automatic berth into the NCAA Championships.
The third and final round starts on Wednesday morning at 6:30 a.m.
Big Sky Golf Championship
Ocotillo Golf Resort
T1 Portland State 295-296 591 +15
T1. Northern Arizona 294-297 591 +15
3. Sacramento State 299-299 598 +22
4. Northern Colorado 300-309 609 +33
5. Montana 311-301 612 +36
T6. Weber State 313-312 625 +49
T6. Montana State 309-316 625 +49
8. Eastern Washington 324-328 652 +76
9. Idaho State 326-331 657 +81
Individual Results (Top 10)
1. Stephanie Kim, Northern Arizona 69-70 139 -5
2. Megan Buck, Northern Arizona 70-75 145 +1
3. Britney Yada, Portland State 71-76 147 +3
T4. Brooke Green, Sacramento State 75-73 148 +4
T4. Stephanie Johns, Portland State 75-73 148 +4
T4. Ali Nelson, Northern Colorado 75-73 148 +4
T4. Samantha Saffold, Sacramento State 72-76 148 +4
T8. Ashli Helstrom, Montana 76-73 149 +5
T8. Tiffany Schoning, Portland State 75-74 149 +5
10. Dakin Banta, Northern Arizona 75-75 150 +6
Other NAU Results
T26, Bethany Leclair 80-77 157
T29, Alexa Kim 81-78 159