Women's Golf Improves to Take Two-Shot Lead at WCC Championships

Alina Ching

April 17, 2012

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HOLLISTER, Calif. - Each member of the Pepperdine women's golf team improved between four to six strokes on Tuesday and the Waves will head into the final round of the West Coast Conference Championships with a two-shot lead over Gonzaga. Freshman Alina Ching also has a two-stroke lead in the individual race.

Tuesday's second round at the par-72 San Juan Oaks Golf Club saw the Waves go from fourth place and eight strokes back and into the lead with the best round of the day, an 8-over 296, which was 17 shots better than the day before.

The third and final round will be held Wednesday as the Waves aim for their 11th consecutive league title.

"It was better today," Pepperdine Coach Laurie Gibbs said. "We played like we should. Yesterday was a bad day as we were coming off some injuries. But today was a lot better. Now we have to post another good day tomorrow. I feel confident that we will, and the players do too. Today was much better and they needed that."

The Waves have a two-round total of 609 (313-296). Gonzaga is at 611 and San Francisco, the first-round leader, is at 618.

Ching (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) is looking to give the Waves the individual medalist for the 11th consecutive year. She shot an even-par 72 and moved up from a tie for sixth place and into sole possession of first place at 148 (76-72). Ching had four birdies on the day, and played her front nine with two birdies and zero bogeys.

Four players are two strokes behind Ching, including fellow Pepperdine freshman Somin Lee (Denver, Colo./Overland HS), who's at 150 (77-73). Lee's round consisted of two birdies and three bogeys.

Sophomore Liv Cheng (Auckland, New Zealand) is tied for 13th place at 155 (80-75). Cheng had five birdies on her first eight holes and finished with six.

Two of the Waves' top players, sophomore Grace Na (Alameda, Calif./Alameda HS) and senior Kaitlin Drolson (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Torrey Pines HS), weren't able to practice much the last few weeks while recovering from injuries. Both have seen their scores gradually get better after rough starts on Monday. Na is tied for 16th place at 156 (80-76) and Drolson is tied for 19th place at 158 (82-76).

Na is the defending champion, while Drolson has three top-five finishes at previous WCC Championships.

Pepperdine has won 13 of the 15 WCC Championships ever contested. San Francisco won the other two in 1997 and 2001.

Team Scores: 1. Pepperdine 313-296=609; 2. Gonzaga 309-302=611; 3. San Francisco 304-314=618; 4. Santa Clara 318-305=623; 5. Seattle 308-316=624; 6. Brigham Young 319-319=638.

Top Individuals: 1. Alina Ching (Pepperdine) 76-72=148; T2. Stephanie Corey (Gonzaga) 77-73=150; T2. Somin Lee (Pepperdine) 77-73=150; T2. Caitlin McCleary (Seattle) 75-75=150; T2. Maggie Yuan (BYU) 74-76=150.

Other Pepperdine Scores: T13. Liv Cheng 80-75=155; T16. Grace Na 80-76=156; T19. Kaitlin Drolson 82-76=158.



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