Clemson, S.C—Clemson improved its team score by nine shots on Tuesday, but improved by just one spot in the standings at the NCAA Auburn Regional at Saugahatchee Golf Club in Opelika, Ala. Led by Ivy Shepherd’s one-over-par 73, Clemson shot a 298 team score on Tuesday to improve from 14th to 13th place in the 18-team regional field.
Kelley Hester’s Tigers have a 605 team score, 29-over-par and 16 shots off the cutline entering Wednesday’s final round. Only the top six teams advance to the NCAA National Tournament in Arkansas in two weeks.
Duke holds a two-shot lead over ACC rival Virginia entering the final round. The third-ranked Blue Devils stand at 577 for 36 holes, two shots ahead of the 17th ranked Cavaliers. A third ACC school, 11th ranked Florida State, stands in a tie for third place at 580 with Vanderbilt. Unranked East Carolina is in fifth place at 586, while host school Auburn and SEC rival Tennessee are tied for sixth at 589.
Alice Hewson is Clemson’s top player through 36 holes after scores of 75-74 and a five-over-par 149, good enough for 38th place. The senior got off to a great start with a one-under-par 35 on the back nine, but had four bogeys on the front, her second nine of the day, to finish at 74.
Shepherd, a freshman, had two holes hurt her score on Tuesday, but she was still the top Tiger on the day, the eighth time this year she has had the top score among Clemson golfers. Shepherd got off to a rough start with double bogeys on #11 and #12, her second and third holes of the round. But she finished strong, playing the last 15 holes in three-under-par.
Holes 10-12 have been Shepherd’s nemesis in the first two rounds as she is 12-over-par on those three holes and five-under-par on the other 15 holes combined. She has seven birdies through 36 holes, eighth in the field of 93 golfers.
Ana Paula Valdes was Clemson’s most improved player in the second round. The junior from Mexico shot a 74 in the second round after an opening non-counting 80. Valdes birdied the 10th and 12th holes, two of her first three holes of the day. She had a double bogey on the fifth hole, but still finished just two-over-par.
Alexandra Swayne had three birdies, two double bogeys and four bogeys in scoring her second straight 77. Clemson had to count five double bogeys as a team.
Gracyn Burgess, Clemson’s number-four player in terms of stroke average entering the tournament, had an 80 on Tuesday.
Clemson will play with Murray State and the University of Denver on Wednesday, and will tee off between 9 a.m. and 9:40 a.m. Central Time. Live scoring is available on golfstat.com