With sophomore Kelly Whaley going off on the back nine at The Yeamans Hall Club in Hanahan, S.C. and freshman Brynn Walker, a two-time PIAA champion at Radnor, going under par for the first time in her young collegiate career, North Carolina cut into Furman’s lead in the second round of the Cougar Classic Monday.
Whaley of Farmington, Conn. bettered her career-best round by five shots with a sizzling 6-under 66 over the 6,224-yard, par-72 Yeamans Hall layout, a round that included six birdies on the back nine. Combined with her opening-round 71, Whaley’s brilliant round moved her into a tie for third in the individual chase at 7-under 137. It also led the Tar Heels to a 10-under 278 round that tied the program record vs. par and in stroke total.
Combined with its opening-round 281, North Carolina is at 17-under 559 after two rounds, one shot back of leader Furman, which added an 8-under 280 to its opening-round 278 for a 558 total. North Carolina’s ACC rival, Wake Forest, and Central Florida are tied for third at 9-under 567, Michigan, out of the Big 10, is fifth at 6-under 570, and another ACC power, Florida State, is sixth at 5-under 571.
Penn State added a 294 to its opening-round 291 and is tied for 13th at 9-over 585 in the loaded 21-team field.
Walker, who opened with a 79 Sunday, carded a 1-under 71 to move into a tie for 76th and, more importantly, was a counter for Jan Mann’s Tar Heels.
Bryana Nguyen, a junior from Columbia, Md., added a 71 to her opening-round 69 and is tied for ninth in the individual standings at 4-under 140 for the Tar Heels. North Carolina also got a 2-under 70 from Leslie Cloots, a senior from Belgium, that vaulted her into a tie for 11th at 3-under 141. Lexi Harkins, a junior from Crystal Lake, Ill. had a solid 74 and is tied for 26th at even-par 144, but the Tar Heels had the luxury of tossing out her round.
First-round leader Sierra Sims, a senior from Austin, Texas, maintained a share of the top spot in the individual standings. Sims, who had opened with a 66, had a 3-under 69 Monday for a 9-under 135 total. She was joined at that figure by Furman’s Natalie Srinivasan, a freshman from Spartanburg, S.C. Srinivasan matched Whaley’s 6-under 66 to get to 9-under.
Furman also got a 2-under 70 from Haylee Harford, a sophomore from Leavittsburg, Ohio. Combined with her opening-round 67, it left Harford in the group tied for third at 7-under 137.
Wake Forest got a 2-under 70 from Jennifer Kupcho, a sophomore from Littleton, Colo. One of the top freshman in the country a year ago, Kupcho is tied for 11th at 3-under 141.
The Demon Deacons also got a pair of 73s from a couple of freshmen, Sierra Brooks, the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur runnerup from Sorrento, Fla., and Mathilda Cappeliez, a semifinalist at this summer’s U.S. Women’s Amateur at Rolling Green Golf Club from France. Brooks moved up to a tie for 76th at 6-over 150. Cappeliez is out of the individual chase after signing an incorrect scorecard after Sunday’s opening round.
But Cappeliez’s round enabled Wake Forest to toss a 75 by Antonia Eberhard, a sophomore from Germany. Eberhard had opened with a 68 and is still tied for 21st at 1-under 143.
Joining Whaley and Harford in the group tied for third at 7-under 137 are South Carolina’s Katelyn Dambaugh and Louisville’s Lauren Hartlage. Dambaugh, a senior from Goose Creek, S.C., is one of the top players in college golf. She had a 68 Monday, as did Hartlage, a freshman from Elizabethtown, Ky.
Central Florida’s Ashley Holder, a senior Orlando, Fla., and Auburn’s Michaela Owen, a junior from Suwanee, Ga. are tied for seventh at 5-under 139. Holder fired a 4-under 68 Monday while Owen had a 1-under 71.
Michigan was led by Elodie Van Dievoet, a sophomore from Belgium, who had a 1-under 71 and is tied for ninth with North Carolina’s Nguyen at 4-under 140.
All four of Denise St. Pierre’s young guns at Penn State are tied for 50th at 3-over 147. The best round of the group belonged to sophomore Cara Basso, who won the 2012 PIAA Class AA title as a sophomore at Villa Maria Academy. Basso bounced back from an opening-round 76 with a 1-under 71.
Sophomore Lauren Waller, the PIAA Class AAA runnerup in 2014 as a senior at Canon-McMillan, had opened with 70, but fell back with a 77. Sophomore Jackie Rogowicz, the former Pennsbury standout, and freshman Madelein Herr, the District One champion at Council Rock North a year ago, both carded 1-over 73s Monday. Rogowicz and Herr both qualified for the U.S. Women’s Amateur at Rolling Green, but neither was able to make it to match play.
Rounding out the Penn State contingent is Kate Granahan, a graduate student out of Parkland High. Granahan had a 77 and is tied for 76th at 6-over 150.