PALM DESERT, Calif. – After a tough first round at the 2016 Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate today, one that saw the Lumberjacks record a 30-over-par 318 score, the Northern Arizona University golf team rallied the troops and shot an 8-over 296 in the second round to finish play Saturday in seventh place (38-over 614).
The one constant for the 'Jack pack today on The Classic Club Golf Course was junior Kaitlyn Saum, who carried the momentum over from a good third round at the Rose City Collegiate earlier in the week with a two-round total of 2-over 146 Saturday.
Saum teed-off this morning on her game, rounding up two birdies in her first four holes before matching par on every hole of the back nine to earn a 1-over 73. The junior's solid play rolled over into the afternoon where she added three more birdies on holes one, nine and 14 to finish the second round with an identical 1-over 73 tally and tied for fourth on the individual leaderboard.
Senior Kim Cifuentes showcased her mental grit today, registering an 8-over 80 performance to start her Saturday before piecing it together in the second set of 18 for a 3-over 75. To put her second round into more perspective, she was sitting at 6-over with four holes left and tapped in for three consecutive birdies on holes 16, 17 and 18. She parred her last hole of the day to head into tomorrow's final round tied for 27th.
Sophomore Sofia Anokhina, who had been lights out so far this fall at the World Amateur Team Championships and Rose City Collegiate, really labored in the first round with a 13-over 85 mark. To her credit, though, the Moscow, Russia, native tightened the screws and maintained her focus in the second round for an even-72 score.
Junior Sierra Bezdicek (29-over 173) and freshman Loren Skibba (12-over 156) also turned in scorecards for the Lumberjacks today. Junior Carly Akine (9-over 153) and freshman Emma Reyes (11-over 155) participated as individuals.
The third and final round from the Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate gets underway tomorrow from Palm Desert with a 7:30 a.m. shotgun start. The Lumberjacks gave themselves a realistic shot for a top-five finish tomorrow after the way they finished out today, with only four shots separating them from that position at the moment.