October 22, 2022 (Paradise Island, Bahamas) – Mary Kate Smith (pictured above) posted one of only two rounds under par Saturday, with a 5-under-par 67, to propel Lipscomb to a comfortable 25-stroke advantage in the team race after two rounds at the White Sands Bahamas NCAA Women’s Golf Invitational at the Ocean Club Golf Course. Lipscomb has a team total of 576 (E), with Central Arkansas in second place at 601 (+25) and Arkansas State, which jumped two places, next at 602 (+26).
Smith, a senior, rebounded from an opening round 77 with the lowest round of the day by two strokes, giving her a 36-hole total of even-par 144. She made six birdies on the day, including three on her last five holes. First-round leader Siarra Stout, of Lipscomb, posted a 3 over 75 to tie for the second best 36-hole total with Smith. Teammate Lauren Thompson, who followed up her 70 in the first round with a 72, is the individual leader at 2 under 140. Ally Williams added a 73 to figure in the five-count-four scoring over the Tom Weiskopf layout that is being played at 6,415 yards.
The other sub-par second round belonged to Casey Sommer of Arkansas State who shot 3 under 69, fighting back from an opening 81. Thompson and Elise Schultz of Arkansas State shared the third-best round on a sunny but blustery day. Williams and Mia Seeman, of Lipscomb, along with Julia Baeumken of UNC Greensboro and Kellie Gachaga of Little Rock were another stroke behind at 73.
Lipscomb has the top four individual leaders after 36 holes, in Thompson (70-72-142, -2), Smith (77-67-144, E), Stout (69-75-144, E) and Williams (75-73-148, +4). Madison Holmes of Central Arkansas is tied with Williams for fourth best (72-76-148, +4).
“I was disappointed when I walked off the course yesterday. I had two doubles and I didn’t make any birdies,” said Smith, whose 67 was just two off her career best. “Today, I hit shots closer and made more putts. The golf gods were with me today. It’s not over yet, but we are on our way to taking care of business.
“The whole day, I was admiring the views,” Smith continued. “This golf course makes playing golf more fun. I feel very lucky to be here.”
“They are playing solid and playing to win,” said Lipscomb head coach Shannon O’Brien in an understatement. “They were ready for this, and I believe that playing in windy conditions earlier this season has helped us.”
Rounding out the team scoring in the eight-team field were UNC Greensboro at 604 (+28), Little Rock at 609 (+33), Memphis at 618 (+42), South Dakota State at 622 (+45) and Florida Gulf Coast at 630 (+54).
Viewed as one of the top collegiate challenges, this NCAA Invitational is among a handful of premier events held at the Ocean Club Golf Course. Most recently, the resort course hosted the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic.
For more coverage of the 2022 White Sands Bahamas NCAA Invitational, visitwhitesandsbahamas.com., follow @WhiteSandsBah on social media and use the following hashtags: #WhiteSandsBahamas and #WhiteSandsNCAA.
1. Lipscomb, E, 576
2. Central Arkansas, +20, 601
3. Arkansas State, +26, 602
4. UNCG, +28, 604
5. Little Rock, +33, 609
6. Memphis, +42, 618
7. South Dakota State, +46, 622
8. Florida Gulf Coast, +54, 630
Top Player Scoring
1. Lauren Thompson (Lipscomb), 70-72-142 (-2)
T2. Mary Kate Smith (Lipscomb), 77-67-144 (E)
T2. Siarra Stout (Lipscomb), 69-75-144 (E)
T4. Ally Williams (Lipscomb), 75-73-148 (+4)
T4. Madison Holmes (Central Arkansas), 72-76-148 (+4)
T6. Elise Schultz (Arkansas State), 77-72-149 (+5)
T6. Kellie Gachaga (Little Rock), 76-73-149 (+5)
T8. Casey Sommer (Arkansas State), 81-69-150 (+6)
T8. Mia Seeman (Lipscomb), 77-73-150 (+6)
T8. Olivia Coit (Arkansas State), 74-76-150 (+6)
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ABOUT OCEAN CLUB GOLF COURSE
Atlantis Paradise Island’s Ocean Club Golf Course offers a challenging and beautiful course for golfers desiring championship play. Masterfully conceived, the Tom Weiskopf-designed 18-hole, par 72 championship course stretches over 7,100 yards on Atlantis’ peninsula. The course has hosted iconic sporting events such as the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational (MJCI), the Michael Douglas & Friends Celebrity Golf Tournament, and the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic. For more information about Atlantis Paradise Island resort and the Ocean Club please visit www.atlantisbahamas.com.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
For White Sands Bahamas NCAA Invitational
Contact: Mike Harmon
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