Buffs slip to ninth place at NCAA golf regional in California

SAN FRANCISCO – It’s all going to come down to 18 holes Wednesday, and the University of Colorado has some work to do.

The Buffaloes shot 10-over, 298, slipping from second into a tie for ninth through two rounds of the NCAA Women’s Golf San Francisco Regional at TPC Harding Park.

No. 26 ranked Colorado, at 6-over through 36 holes, is now looking up for that coveted spot in the NCAA Finals – the top six teams advance to Stillwater, Okla., May 18-23. The good news is every possibility remains on the table. Colorado is two strokes out of the top six and only eight from the overall lead.

Kent State and Stanford are tied for the team lead at 2-under. Top-ranked UCLA is third at 1-under while Ole Miss and Oregon are fifth at 1-over. NCAA Finals host Oklahoma State currently sits in the last advancing spot, as the Cowgirls are sixth at 4-over.

Colorado’s 10-over was the highest among the field’s top 14 teams, but only three teams shot in the red on the day. One of those teams is the one now tied with the Buffaloes – Pepperdine, which had the best overall round of the day a 3-under, 285.

“Tough day for the team,” Colorado head coach Anne Kelly said. “We just couldn’t really get anything going. Rough start for a few of the players. It’s not that we played badly, we just didn’t have anyone under par and in this field we need to get a couple players under par to have a chance.”

Senior Brittany Fan remains Colorado’s top individual at 3-under, 141. She is in a seven-way tie for fourth place, two strokes out of the lead, after shooting a 3-over, 75 in the second round. Pepperdine’s Hira Naveed, who had the low round of the day with a 67 and at 5-under, 139, has a one stroke advantage over the Stanford duo of Andrea Lee and Ziyi Wang heading into Wednesday’s final round.

Fan couldn’t match her mastery of the front nine from round one. After shooting a nearly flawless 5-under, 31, Monday, Fan took a double-bogey at the par-4 No. 5 and a bogey at the par-4 No. 2. She managed to birdie the par-5 No. 9 — a hole she eagled Monday — to finish the front at 1-over.

Fan moved back to even with another birdie at No. 10, but lost two strokes with bogeys at the par-3 No. 11 and par-5 No. 12. She picked a stroke back up with a birdie at the par-4 No. 14, but played the final two holes at 2-over to close out.

Sophomore Robyn Choi had Colorado’s low round of the day, equaling her first day output at 1-over, 73. She got off to a rough start with a double-bogey at the par-4 No. 1, but played the next 11 holes at even, highlighted by a birdie at the par-5 No. 4. Choi moved up to 1-over with a birdie at the par-4 No. 13, but dropped back to 2-over with a bogey at No. 14. She was able to get back to 1-over with a birdie on the par-3 No. 17 and enters the final round tied for 29th at 2-over, 146.

Sophomore Kirsty Hodgkins shot a 2-over, 74, and is tied for 24th place through two rounds at 1-over, 145. Hodgkins logged a team-best 14 pars for the round, hovering right around even until the end of her round. She started her round off with seven straight pars before dropping to 1-over with a bogey at the par-3 No. 8. Hodgkins took that stroke back immediately with a birdie at the par-5 No. 9.