April 28, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - As the breeze over the Indiana University Golf Course picked up through the afternoon, so did the race for the conference title at the 2006 Big Ten Women's Golf Championships. First-round leader Purdue (290-296--586) dropped six shots in the second round, but sits atop the leaderboard with a four-stroke lead at the halfway point of the 72-hole event.
Ohio State (293-297--590), winners of the last four conference championships, sits tied for second after 36 holes with Michigan State (296-294--590). Indiana (300-292--592), which entered the event as the 10th seed, flirted with the lead earlier in the day and enters Saturday's third round in fourth place. The Hoosiers shot a 4-over 292 in the second round, which was the lowest of any team in the field for the afternoon and was the second-best total for the tournament so far.
Michigan (296-301--597) is fifth, followed by Northwestern (297-303--600) and Iowa (301-302--603). Penn State (303-302--605) is eighth, while Wisconsin (313-300--613), Minnesota (311-307--618) and Illinois (321-304--625) round out the field.
Individually, Northwestern's Alice Kim maintained her lead in the second round with an even-par 72, after a stellar 4-under-par 68 to open the championships. The NU junior sits first entering Saturday at 140 (68-72), which marks the lowest 36-hole total in the history of the championships. The previous mark of 141 was set in 2000 by both Kari Damron and Stacy Orschell of Purdue. Having gone the first 22 holes without a mistake, Kim posted back-to-back bogeys at the fifth and sixth holes, but earned a shot back with a birdie at No. 8. She would balance the back nine with two birdies and two bogeys to secure the clubhouse lead at the halfway mark.
Kim, however, was stalked by Indiana's Elaine Harris, who finished the 36-hole play on Friday at the former conference record of 3-under 141 (71-70). For Harris, both the 70 and 71 eclipsed her previous 18-hole best of 73, while her 36-hole total of 141 shattered her personal best of 148. The Hoosier sophomore joins Kim as the only two golfers in red figures halfway through the tournament.
Michigan State's Sara Brown and Purdue's Maria Hernandez both fired duplicate rounds of 72 and 73 Friday and sit tied for third overall at 145. Three student-athletes are tied for fifth at 146 in Ohio State's Carling Coffing (72-74) and Jennifer Selfinger (72-74) and Purdue's Christel Boeljon (72-74).
Indiana's Shannon Johnson (75-72) and Purdue's Myrte Eikenaar (73-74) are tied for eighth at 147, while four golfers -- Michigan's Lindsay Davis (75-71) and Amy Schmucker (74-74), Minnesota's Emily Brand (73-75) and Wisconsin's Katie Elliott (76-72) -- are tied for 10th at 148.
Saturday's action at the Indiana University Golf Course (par 72, 6,142-yards) will consist of 18 holes with tee times beginning at 9 a.m. CT.
FRIDAY NOTES: Only 65 of the 66 players in the field made it to the first tee Friday morning. Northwestern's Katie Trachok was forced to withdraw prior to her tee-time due to illness ... Indiana's Tara Boone, who entered the postseason with an average of 80.08, posted a career low 2-over 74 in the first 18, which bettered her previous best of 78 ... Boone went on to post a 77 in the afternoon for a 151, which improved on her personal record of 159 and helped the Hoosiers to fourth ... The first-round average for the 65-player field was 77.40 ... five eagles were recorded in the first round, including three on par fours; eagles netted at Holes 1 (par 5), two at 6 (par 4), 12 (par 5) and 16 (par 4).