Julie McCarthy dropped off the pace with a second round 77 but still had the mental fortitude to birdie two of her final three holes to rescue some of her round at the SEC Championship.
In truth, Thursday’s second round was a struggle at times for the No. 14 Auburn women’s team but they battled through it and finished the day in fifth place after shooting a 298.
With the top eight teams moving on to match play Saturday, the Tigers are still in prime position to make the cut as they prepare for one more round of stroke play on Friday.
“We pride ourselves on being a very mentally strong team,” Auburn head coach Melissa Luellen said. “For Julie McCarthy to come back after a bogey on 15 and make a birdie on 16 and a birdie on 18, that’s mentally strong. That fight is who our team is.
“We’ll fight tomorrow. We had our bad day. There are other teams that have a bad day in a three-day tournament. We’re looking at it that we have a lot more golf in front of us. We’re just trying to focus on a lot of the good golf we played, too.”
McCarthy was the individual leader heading into the day after shooting an opening four-under par 68 in the first round but couldn’t overcome a quadruple bogey on 12. The Swords golfer dropped to a share of 15th overall at plus-one, eight shots off the lead.
Fellow sophomore Kaleigh Telfer, who fired a 1 over on Thursday, is one stroke ahead of McCarthy and currently tied for 10th through two rounds. Telfer made three birdies on the day and now has seven for the tournament.
The low round of the day for Auburn on Thursday went to sophomore Mychael O’Berry who shot a 71 (-1) with two birdies and just one bogey. Both O’Berry and teammate Elena Hualde Zúñiga are in the top 30 on the player leaderboard with O’Berry in 21st and Zúñiga in 27th. The duo has each posted one round under par this week.
Freshman Brooke Sansom improved on her first round score with a 78 (+6) in round two. She’s currently in a tie for 65th overall.
Florida leads the 14-team field at 9-under par (567) followed by South Carolina (573), Arkansas (578), Georgia (579), Auburn (582), Vanderbilt (584), Ole Miss (588), LSU (591), Mississippi State (592), Alabama (593), Texas A&M (593), Tennessee (594), Missouri (597) and Kentucky (603).
Auburn will be paired with Georgia and Vanderbilt for the final round of stroke play Friday.
- Florida — 567 (-9)
- South Carolina — 573 (-3)
- Arkansas — 578 (+2)
- Georgia — 579 (+3)
- Auburn — 582 (+6)
- Vanderbilt — 584 (+8)
- Ole Miss — 588 (+12)
- LSU — 591 (+15)
- Mississippi State — 592 (+16)
- Alabama — 593 (+17)
T10. Kaleigh Telfer – 71, 73 (E)
T15. Julie McCarthy – 68, 77 (+1)
T21. Mychael O’Berry – 75, 71 (+2)
T27. Elena Hualde Zúñiga – 70, 77 (+3)
T65. Brooke Sansom – 79, 78 (+13)