WILMINGTON, N.C. – Saturday proved to be moving day for No. 21 Arizona Women’s Golf in the second round of the Landfall Tradition as the Wildcats shot 8-under as a team to climb into sole possession of first place at 8-under par. Arizona’s ascension up the leaderboards was powered by graduate senior Gile Bite Starkute who tied the lowest round of her collegiate career with a 67. The 5-under performance from Starkute included five consecutive birdies on the front nine and propelled her into a tie for fourth at 5-under.
“Today was a complete performance by our entire lineup and one of the best days we’ve had on course as a team,” said head coach Laura Ianello. “Led by one of Gile’s best rounds of her career, our team was prepared to improve today and attack each hole on the course. We’ve got two golfers in the top ten, and we have set ourselves up for another great day tomorrow. We have confidence and momentum on our side, which makes Sunday’s finale exciting for all of us.”
The Cats sit one stroke ahead of Tennessee and two strokes clear of UCF after the first two rounds. Arizona was able to flip the script from Friday’s opening round on the Country Club of Landfall’s longest holes. After finishing near the bottom in par-five scoring average in the first round, the Wildcats now sit in a tie with Duke for the best par-five scoring average out of the field. The team got a final boost in that statistical category when freshman Charlotte Back eagled the par-5, 18th hole on Saturday.
Sophomore Nena Wongthanavimok remained in the top 10 of the individual leaderboards on Saturday with a second-round showing of 1-under par, which put her in a tie for sixth. She entered the second round in a tie for ninth after carding a 2-under round of 70 on Friday. Both Starkute and Wongthanavimok will chase Furman’s Anna Morgan who leads all players at 11-under par after two rounds.
Arizona will tee off on Sunday in the final round alongside the Volunteers and Knights who are chasing the Cats. They will go off the first hole beginning at 6 a.m. (MST) at the Country Club of Landfall.