Barry Women's Golf Remains in Hunt

Taylor Babcock had four birdies in the second round of the NCAA Championships, helping the Bucs maintain third place. Photo by Joel Auerbach

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Barry University women’s golf team remained in third place after Thursday’s second round of the NCAA Division II National Championships.

The Buccaneers shot 294 on the LPGA International Legends Course, cutting eight strokes from their first-round total to remain comfortably in third place at 596 in the 72-hole, four-day tournament. Barry remained 10 strokes behind leader Nova Southeastern, while second-place Lynn shot the low round of the day at 288 to draw within three strokes of the lead entering Friday’s third round.

St. Edward’s is fourth, 17 strokes behind the Bucs, and Grand Canyon is fifth at 614 in the 12-team championship event.

Barry will tee off at 9:40 a.m. Friday.

All four of the Buccaneers’ counting scores were no higher than 2-over for the day.

“We did what we had to do,” Buccaneers first-year head coach Shannon Sykora said. “We didn’t lose any ground to Nova, and we’re right in it. They’re all doing what they have to do, which is play each shot one shot at a time. It’s just going to take everybody playing our best the next two days for us to be right there.”

Barry sophomore Nancy Vergara remained second, this time in a three-way tie, after shooting par on the 6,228-yard course. Vergara is within a stroke of the lead, which Nova’s Daniela Ortiz occupies at 2-under 142. Sharks teammate Linnea Johansson and Lander’s Teresa Hernani are also tied with Vergara. Lynn’s Louise Manalo is fifth at 144 after matching teammate Samantha Smolen’s low round of the day at 69.

Buccaneers freshman Nicky Ferre shot 74, and is tied for 16th with Smolen and Tarleton State’s Isabell JimenezPerea at 150. Barry sophomore Daniela Murray shot 74, and is tied for 22nd at 152. Senior Taylor Babcock also shot 74, and is tied for 26th with four other golfers. Freshman Maria Paola Fiorio shot 79, and is in a four-way tie for 33rd.

Babcock had four birdies in the second round, capping her day with two in the last four holes, including one on her last, the 366-yard, par-4 ninth. Vergara had two birdies and two bogeys in another steady round that maintained her position near the top of the leaderboard. Murray birdied the par-5 14th, while Ferre had birdies on Nos. 2 and 5, par-5 and par-4 holes, respectively. Fiorio had birdies on the par-5 eighth and par-3 12th.

“The team’s attitude is positive, and they’re not getting ahead of themselves,” Sykora said. “They’re doing a good job of staying in the present moment, and that’s why they’re in the thick of things.”

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