Ching Leads Pepperdine Through Three Rounds at NCAA Golf Championships

Alina Ching

May 24, 2012

FRANKLIN, Tenn. - Pepperdine freshman Alina Ching shot her second consecutive 1-over 73 to lead the team, but the Waves, like a lot of schools, had another tough outing during the third round of the NCAA Women's Golf Championships on Thursday.

The par-72 Vanderbilt Legends Club showed its teeth on Thursday, as 18 of the 24 teams shot 10-over or more. The Waves were one of them, checking in with a 16-over 304. They now have a total of 903 (306-293-304) and are tied with Baylor for 18th place.

The Waves went from a tie for 22nd after the first round to a tie for 17th after the second. The fourth and final round is on Friday. Pepperdine will be paired with Michigan State and host Vanderbilt beginning off the 10th tee at 8:28 a.m. CT.

Pepperdine's scorecards looked a lot like the first round on Tuesday. Both times, the Waves started on the 10th tee and did fairly well on the back nine. But the bogeys started to add up on the front nine.

However, Pepperdine did go into the clubhouse on a high note today, as four of the five players recorded on a birdie on the ninth hole, the last one of the day.

"We were looking at hole location sheets this morning and we knew it was going to play tough," Pepperdine Coach Laurie Gibbs said. "We tried to pick out spots where we felt balls were going to land and release. We tried to get through those holes, and we did struggle a little bit. But the positive is we finished strong with four birdies on nine. There's still a whole round ahead and still a lot of movement that can happen. We need to get up tomorrow and have our best round. That's our plan."

Ching (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) has had at least a share of the Waves' best score all three rounds. She's got a 4-over 220 (74-73-73) that has moved her into a tie for 17th place. Today, she had a total of three birdies, didn't have a bogey over the first 11 holes and was 2-under after 14 holes before running into some late trouble.



There isn't a big gap between the rest of the Waves on the leaderboard. Freshman Somin Lee (Denver, Colo./Overland HS) is tied for 64th place at 227 (75-73-79), sophomore Grace Na (Alameda, Calif./Alameda HS) is tied for 77th at 229 (80-73-76), sophomore Liv Cheng (Auckland, New Zealand) is tied for 82nd at 230 (77-76-77) and senior Kaitlin Drolson (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif./Torrey Pines HS) is tied for 98th at 232 (80-74-78).

Na had the shot of the day, as she rolled in a 40-footer for a birdie on the par-4 13th hole. She had two birdies during her round, as did Cheng and Lee.

Pepperdine is making its 11th appearance at the NCAA Championships, and the Waves are the only non-BCS school among this year's field of 24 teams. The Waves have four top-five and eight top-10 finishes in their history.

Team Scores: 1. Alabama 286-285-306=877; 2. USC 297-288-294=879; T3. Purdue 293-295-295=883; T3. South Carolina 302-281-300=883; T3. Virginia 288-294-301=883; 6. LSU 293-294-297=884; 7. North Carolina 290-292-303=885; 8. Arizona State 292-291-304=887; T9. UCLA 292-290-306=888; T9. Oklahoma 294-299-295=888; T11. Duke 289-302-301=892; T11. Florida 302-293-297=892; 13. North Carolina State 299-294-305=898; 14. Texas A&M 301-298-300=899; 15. Colorado 297-298-305=900; T16. Michigan State 296-311-294=901; T16. Vanderbilt 306-284-311=901; T18. Pepperdine 306-293-304=903; T18. Baylor 299-304-300=903; 20. Texas 297-295-313=905; 21. Arkansas 303-301-309=913; 22. Tennessee 300-307-307=914; 23. Ohio State 303-307-305=915; 24. Stanford 309-304-307=920.

Top Individuals: T1. Chirapat Jao-Javanil (Oklahoma) 69-73-70=212; T1. Giulia Molinaro (Arizona State) 69-71-72=212; T3. Brooke Pancake (Alabama) 68-70-75=213; T3. Tessa Teachman (LSU) 69-74-70=213; T5. Katie Burnett (South Carolina) 74-67-74=215; T5. Portland Rosen (Virginia) 66-75-74=215.

Pepperdine Scores: T17. Alina Ching 74-73-73=220; T64. Somin Lee 75-73-79=227; T77. Grace Na 80-73-76=229; T82. Liv Cheng 77-76-77=230; T98. Kaitlin Drolson 80-74-78=232.

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