Freshman Cheyenne Knight is making a run for the individual championship, and on Sunday the rest of the team made a critical move up the leaderboard at the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Knight shot a one-under-par 71 on Sunday and is tied for second place in the individual competition after the third round of the tournament over the 6,331-yard, par-72 Eugene Country Club course.
Alabama, which had been lurking near the bottom of the team standings among the 24 teams in the tournament, had its best round of the tournament and moved into the critical top 15, which continues in fourth round competition Monday. The field will be cut to eight teams for match play to determine the champion beginning Tuesday.
Alabama (300-292-290/882) shot a two-over par 290 in the third round and sits in 14th place in the team race entering Monday’s final stroke play round.
“It was our low round for the weekend and showed that we can play under par,” head coach Mic Potter said. “The wind came up on the back nine and it cost us five or six shots so it could have been a lot better and gotten us a lot closer to eighth, but we’ve got to play tomorrow (Monday) to have a chance. We’ll have to shoot well under par.”
Senior Janie Jackson (76-76-72/224) was even par on Sunday. Fellow senior Emma Talley (77-73-73/223) was one-over par. Sophomores Lakareber Abe (78-74-74/226) and Nicole Morales (78-81-79/238) were two- and seven-over par respectively.
Alabama is at 18-over-par through three rounds. USC leads at 4-under with UCLA and Duke tied for second at 2-under-par. Washington is at 2-over, followed by Stanford at plus-4, Oregon at plus-6, and South Carolina at plus-8. In the eighth spot – which is Alabama’s goal – Virginia and Arizona are tied at plus-9. Tied for 10th at plus-12 are Northwestern and Oklahoma State with Arkansas and North Carolina tied for 12th at plus-17. Florida State rounds out the top 15, a stroke behind Alabama at plus-19.
SEC teams in the tournament that failed to make the top 15 are Tennessee, Florida, and Georgia.
Knight (69-69-71/209) is six shots off the individual lead entering Monday’s final round. The freshman from Aledo, Texas trails Duke’s Virginia Elena Carta (69-68-66/203) who is 13-under par after a six-under par performance on Sunday. Should Knight win the individual competition, she will become the second Alabama golfer to win women’s medalist honors in school history, joining teammate Emma Talley, who was the low individual at the 2015 NCAA championships in Bradenton, Fla.
“Overall, I’m really happy with one-under today given the conditions,” Knight said. “Playing in the afternoon was tough. We had the rain and wind and it was colder. The par threes on the back nine were more shot demanding as a result. I think the course played a little tougher today. The pins were tucked in some tough spots too. It will definitely take low number tomorrow but I just want to enjoy the experience and
try and get us into the top eight.”
Alabama will start Monday’s fourth round from Hole No. 10 and will tee off at 11:50 a.m. PDT (1:50 p.m. CDT). The Tide will be paired with Florida State and North Carolina.
Monday’s fourth round will be televised live on the Golf Channel beginning at 5 p.m. CDT.