TULSA, Okla. – It was a tough day to catch a break for No. 12 Stanford at the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships.
With mild weather conditions at the par-70 Tulsa Country Club, the Cardinal shot a 14-over 294 Thursday while falling from seventh to 14th among the 24-team field. There was not a glaring weakness in the team’s third round of the 72-hole national tournament, except for a number of tap-in pars which kept the Cardinal from advancing up the leaderboard.
Duke (+16) will take the overall lead into the final round while being chased by defending champion USC (+22) and Oklahoma (+26). Immediately head of Stanford are Alabama and Vanderbilt, tied for 12th at 39-over.
The roles are reversed from last year for the top two teams, when USC entered the final round in first place with a 17-stroke lead over second-place Duke.
Duke was also the third-round leader the last time that the NCAA Championships were held at Tulsa Country Club in 1999, leading Georgia and Arizona State by eight strokes that year. The third-round team leader has gone on to win the NCAA title 25 times in the first 32 years of the championship. The seasons that the third round leader did not win the tournament came in 1983 (Tulsa), 1987 (Miami), 1989 (Tulsa), 1993 (Texas), 2001 (Duke), 2002 (Arizona) and most recently in 2009 (USC).
Beginning its round on hole 10, Stanford climbed into third before making the turn after teaming to go 6-under on the par-5 16th.
Eagle, birdie, eagle, birdie and par on the 16th for Cardinal. Currently tied for third and making the turn.— Stanford W Golf (@StanfordWGolf) May 22, 2014
Lauren Kim briefly held the individual lead midway through her round and settled with a 2-over 72. She is even for the tournament and in a three-way tie for third, three shots out of the money behind co-leaders Celine Boutier (Duke) and Doris Chen (USC).
Kim’s birdie on her ninth hole snapped a streak of 29 holes without a red number. She would go 3-over on the back.
“It was a struggle out there,” Kim said. “I still have some positives to take away going into tomorrow. There’s still a lot more golf to be played, a full 18 holes tomorrow. I’m just trying to keep focused on what I did well and capitalize on that for tomorrow.”
Kim is joined in the top-30 by Mariah Stackhouse. The sophomore shot a 74 to move to 8-over through 54 holes. Stackhouse’s only birdie came on the par-5 16th.
Casey Danielson’s 74 was complemented by an eagle on 16, which came by draining a eight-foot putt.
Marissa Mar shaved three strokes off her previous round with a 74, and drained an eagle on 16 with a gem out of the greenside bunker. Mar also fired a dart into the par-3 sixth that gave her a 14-inch birdie putt to get to even. She was 4-over on the closing three holes.
Mariko Tumangan was 9-over at 79. Her highlight also came on 16 in the form of a birdie.
There were 26 individual rounds of even-par or better.
Stanford tees off at 5:55 a.m. (PT) and will be grouped with Washington and Vanderbilt during the fourth and final round. Live results and video of holes 16-18 will be available Friday at GoStanford.com.