Alabama is eight shots off the lead top-seed and second-ranked South Carolina, who shot 2-under 286 on Friday and is 5-over 581 through two rounds. No. 2-seed LSU is third at 16-over while Coastal Carolina is in fourth place at 17-over 593 with Northwestern fifth at 18-over 594. Ohio State and host NC State are tied for the sixth and final qualifying spot at 20-over 596.
The top-six finishers at the NCAA Raleigh Regional will advance to the NCAA Championships at The Concession Golf Club on May 22-27 in Bradenton, Fla., and join the teams that have advanced from the NCAA South Bend (Ind.), San Antonio (Texas) and St. George (Utah) Regionals.
“We are making too many big numbers,” Alabama head coach Mic Potter said following the round. “We would be right in the mix to win the tournament if we stayed away from the triples and doubles (bogeys). I was a little surprised where we ended up relative to how we played, but we counted several birdies on the 17th and played the 16th hole pretty well, which is a hard hole. But we have to do a better job of capitalizing on the easier holes.”
Junior Emma Talley once again led the Crimson Tide with a 2-under par round of 70. She is second on the individual leaderboard at 4-under 140, behind LSU’s Madelene Sagstrom (-6).
Talley opened with back-to-back birdies before making bogey on No. 3. After reeling off six straight pars to make the turn at 1-under, Talley birdied the 10th and then made bogey at No. 12. She closed with a birdie on the par-5 15th hole.
Fellow junior Janie Jackson and true freshman Lakareber Abe both carded 1-over rounds of 73 to keep the Tide near the top of the leaderboard. Jackson made a team-high five birdies with one triple bogey, a double bogey and a bogey while Abe had three birdies and four bogeys.
Sophomore Mia Landegren was the fourth score for the Tide at 7-over 79 while sophomore Cammie Gray’s 81 was dropped for the team total.
The Crimson Tide will be paired with South Carolina and LSU in the final round on Saturday in the championship flight at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course in Raleigh, N.C.
“We have to treat tomorrow like any other golf tournament,” Potter said. “We are a few shots out of the lead and we have to play well and try to win. Like I’ve said before, you don’t come to regionals and try to qualify because that will get you in trouble. We have to shoot as low as possible tomorrow while playing intelligently.”