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Stanford zooms up the leaderboard; about that new substitution rule

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Saturday was certainly shifting day for the Stanford girls’s golf workforce.

Making the most of the calmer morning situations at Grayhawk Golf Club, the Cardinal posted a 10-under spherical to zoom up the leaderboard and take over the prime spot after two days of the 2021 Division I NCAA Championships.

“I wouldn’t know. I don’t look at leaderboards,” Stanford head coach Anne Walker stated after her workforce shot 10 beneath to get to 7 beneath total. “I believe in my team and I know that at every turn they’re giving it the best they’ve got and me looking at leaderboards isn’t going to change that.”

Freshman standout Rachel Heck, ranked No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, stays the particular person chief after taking pictures a 67 for her twelfth straight spherical in the 60s.

“They played great today. No surprise that Rachel is at 5 under [today] leading the way,” Walker stated. Heck is at 8 beneath total, 5 pictures forward of Duke’s Gina Kim and Louisville’s Lauren Hartlage.

Duke, who gained the workforce title in 2019 and is the defending champion, is subsequent at 3 beneath. Everyone else is over par. Texas is in third at 1 over. Florida State shot 3 beneath and moved into fourth at 7 over. Wake Forest is 9 over and in fifth place.

Oklahoma State (+10), Ole Miss (+11), LSU (+12) and Oregon and Arizona (+14) spherical out the prime 10.

Coming collectively

Of the 24 groups in the subject, Stanford needed to cope with a few of the extra restrictive native well being laws resulting from COVID.

“We didn’t actually get our team to campus until, our first practice was Feb. 25 and we actually didn’t have a practice,” Walker stated. “We just went straight into a 36-hole match with San Jose State and Cal, which was hilarious because our two freshman have never played the golf course. Rachel shot 78 and hasn’t looked back since that moment.”

In April, three gamers participated in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and a fourth Cardinal performed in the ANA Inspiration. All 4 needed to quarantine for seven days upon returning to Palo Alto and couldn’t follow throughout these seven days.

Dealing with adversity seems to have introduced this Stanford workforce collectively.

“The message we kept hammering home with them was the journey is going to be different this year, but we have to believe the path will take us somewhere good and if we stay the course we’ll wind up in a good spot.”

Moving on up

South Carolina, the top-ranked workforce in the Golfweek/Sagarins, was in final place after the first day and regardless of taking pictures 24 pictures higher on Saturday, the Gamecocks had been nonetheless in final for a part of the morning at even par. As the wind picked up and extra groups began their second rounds, they began climbing the leaderboard, ending the day 14th out of 24 groups.

NCAA Womens Golf: NCAA Women's Golf Championship

NCAA Womens Golf: NCAA Women’s Golf Championship

South Carolina Gamecocks golfer Ana Pelaez hits on the eleventh fairway throughout the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club. (Photo by Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)

“Yesterday was really rough, the wind kind of took a toll on us and got the best of us. Not the best day mentally,” South Carolina head coach Kalen Anderson stated. “Today was good, we had a good strong start, unfortunately just finished poorly coming in.

“We’re going to need a little help from the field. We just gotta hang in there and hopefully we get two more days to fight after the top eight.”

Playing a desert course on this championship provides one other problem for South Carolina.

“Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to get our here because of COVID,” Anderson stated. “We were pretty much locked down in the Southeast this year but it is a new experience. But it’s golf. It’s not an excuse by any means. It’s a good track and difficult and challenging.

Mixed reaction on substitution rule

In 2019, coaches were permitted to make substitutions at the NCAA Women’s Championship for the first time, but only in the match-play portion. Interestingly, none of the eight coaches who got a team in the bracket chose to use the rule.

Beginning this championship season, substitutions became permissible at any point during regionals and the national championship (provided the coach made the substitution between rounds). On Saturday, three teams – South Carolina, Michigan State and Ole Miss – made use of the modified rule.

South Carolina’s Anderson was one of those coaches who made a switch, subbing out Lois Kaye Go (87) for Pimnipa Panthong (90).

“In general, I’d probably leave my normal five in,” she stated. “But right now, we got a little bit of movement in the fifth spot, got a couple people struggling in the 5th and 6th spot so I am doing some movement. It’s kind of nice to have that.

“I think as long as a championship as this is, it makes it interesting to have that sub. I wasn’t a big fan of it at the beginning but now I think it’s a pretty good idea.”

Arizona head coach Laura Ianello doesn’t plan to deploy the maneuver.

“I have the mindset that if I have to sub, it’s because one of my girls is either deathly ill or injured and cannot play. I’m not subbing out for poor performance,” she stated. “But that’s my philosophy. I don’t want to change the chemistry. … You have to know your team chemistry, you have to know your culture, you have to know your team dynamics. I want these ladies to know that I trust them and I believe in them.

“I don’t want to cause more stress. Golf is stressful enough, golf is really freakin’ hard so, I want the least stressful environment as possible.”

“I’m not a fan of the substitute rule,” ASU coach Missy Farr-Kaye stated. “I never have been. I think it’s a little dodgy. I know three teams subbed in today, I don’t know how it all went. I think some teams it might work really well. I think it’s really difficult. We have a sixth player that if someone got hurt or injured and had to go, we could put her in. She’s a very good player but if anybody feels that if they played poorly or if I’m not happy about something, I’m going to pull ’em, then it’s hard to give them that confidence and worry about what they’re going to do and who’s going to get pulled.

“Maybe some coaches use it brilliantly this week and more power to them but I haven’t gotten to where I really like it just yet.”

Even in the change from stroke play to match play?

“Same thing. I’m not there yet.”

Up subsequent

The third spherical begins Saturday at 6:30 a.m. native time with the prime six groups on break up tees, then the subsequent six groups begin at 7:30 a.m. on break up tees. The afternoon wave begins at 11:30 a.m. with six groups on break up tees. The closing teams will go off break up tees at 12:30 p.m.

At the finish of the third spherical, the subject might be minimize to the prime 15 groups.

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