HOWEY IN THE HILLS – Colleen Panosian shot a four-over par 76 Saturday to jump into the top-20 individually and move Florida Southern up two spots in the team standings at the University of Cincinnati Bearcats Spring Classic being played at the Mission Inn Resort.
In improving their team score by seven shots with a 320, the Moccasins moved ahead of Oklahoma City and Grand Canyon with a 647 overall. That puts them in 10th place with one round remaining, with Florida Southern sitting just three shots behind ninth-place Dartmouth and four behind eighth-place Marshall. To reach the top-five, the Mocs will need to overcome an 11-shot margin on Sunday.
There was also a change at the top of the team standings where host Cincinnati overtook Akron and now leads the Zips by three shots. The Bearcats did that even while counting an 80 and an 81, but they got a 73 from Tara Liebert, which was the best individual round turned in on Saturday. The Zips' best golfer was again Danielle Nicholson who had a 76, which allowed her to retain a share of the individual lead with Cynthia Bounleutay from Seminole State (FL).
The best team round of the day though belonged to Jacksonville, which was one of only two schools in the 17-team field to have all of its counters in the 70's. The Dolphins had a 308 Saturday which was three shots better than Nova Southeastern, the other team which had four counting 70's. It was enough to put Jacksonville in third place, trailing Cincinnati by five shots. Georgia Southern is fourth, nine shots behind the Bearcats, and Nova Southeastern is fifth with a 10-shot deficit.
For the second day in a row, Panosian overcame a slow start before dominating the middle of her round. After two bogeys to start the day on her first three holes (9-11), the senior from Smyrna, Georgia parred 12 and 13, and then birdied the par-5 No. 14. She followed that with four more pars and another birdie, and from 12-18 on the back nine, and 1-4 on the front, Panosian played those 11 holes at two-under. That was enough to push Panosian into a tie for 19th place with a 158 overall, nine strokes behind Nicholson and Bounleutay, and five strokes out of the top-five.
Senior Kit Creighton, who was Florida Southern's lead golfer on Friday was tied for second on the team Saturday with sophomore Abbey Williams, with each Moccasin shooting an 81. Creighton is now tied for 31st in the field of over 100 golfers with a two-day total of 161, and Williams is tied for 46th with a 164.
Also tied for 46th is redshirt junior Shannon McKew, who had an 82 as Florida Southern's fourth counter. Fifth-year senior Emma Marlatt is at 172 overall after a second-round score of 88. Freshman Tori Higgins, who is playing as an individual, has a 173 following her 87 in round two.
The final round of the Bearcats Spring Classic gets underway with a shotgun start Sunday morning at 8 a.m.