May 6, 2011
Junior Marina Alex fired a two-under par, 70, on Friday to lead the Commodores at the second round of the NCAA East Regional in Daytona Beach, Fla., and is tied with teammate Anna Leigh Keith in a tie for 24th for the tournament. As a team, Vanderbilt is in a tie for 10th place at the tournament after posting a seven-over par, 295, in the second round and now has a two-round total of 597 (302-295).
“I think we got the old Marina back today,” said Vanderbilt head coach Greg Allen. “She’s got a great mindset going right now. At dinner tonight, she told me, ‘Coach, can we talk about something other than golf? Everything is going to be fine.’ As a coach, you love to hear that.
“Ed (Anna Leigh Keith) had another solid round. I walked with Grehan today, and she’s hitting it well. It’s going to be a scramble tomorrow – a real nerve-wracking day.”
Alex posted five birdies in her round at on the LPGA International Legends Course, including three on her back nine. Her two bogeys of the day came at 13 and 18, her fourth and ninth holes, respectively.
Keith, who led the team with a one-over par, 73, on Thursday, shot a two-over, 74, on Friday. Vanderbilt’s other counters were freshman Rene Sobolewski, who fired a three-over 75, and senior Megan Grehan, who carded a second-round 76.
The Commodores are two strokes back of the NCAA Championship cut line and eighth-place Florida, who is in the clubhouse at 595 (298-297). There are six schools within six strokes of the Gators and the coveted eight-place position.
“I like our chances and I believe in this team,” said Allen. “Four of these guys have been there before at regionals and SEC’s last year. I told them tonight that we can go out there and have a defining moment on Saturday. I’ve got faith that we can have that moment.”
Alabama is in the lead heading into the final round with a score of 571 (287-284), four strokes better than second-place North Carolina, who shot up the leaderboard with a six-under par, 282, which was the low round of the day on Friday.
The East Regional concludes on Saturday, with the top eight teams from the region qualifying for the NCAA Championships in College Station, Texas, May 18-21.