GERMANTOWN, TN – Florida Southern started the second round of the NCAA Division II South Super Regional tied for fifth place, and a fantastic finish by the Moccasins kept them there, though they'll still need to jump three teams on the final day to earn advancement to the national finals.
The eighth-ranked Moccasins bettered their round-one score by four shots Tuesday with a 306 that equaled what top-ranked Nova Southeastern did. The Sharks held the lead by one shot over Barry at the start of play, but the Buccaneers posted a 301, and Rollins had a 298. That pushed the fifth-ranked Buccaneers into first place with a three-shot lead over No. 10 Rollins, with Nova Southeastern sitting four shots off the pace. The top three teams will move on to the Division II National Finals, and right now the gap between third-place Nova and fourth-place Lynn is 10 shots. Florida Southern and Lee are each 14 out of advancement.
Florida Southern was led by Amanda Gartrell's one-over-par 73 and only two golfers in the field shot better than that on Tuesday. Tournament leader Tilda Larsson of Barry, and Madison Lellyo of Rollins each had a 72, and Gartrell was one of just three who had a 73. Gartrell was one of three Moccasins who birdied the final hole of the day, which for Florida Southern was the par-5 No. 9. She also birdied No. 14, and was even or under-par for her first 10 holes. The birdie at the end got her back to +1 for the day and +7 for the tournament, putting her in 15th place out of 66 golfers.
In addition to the top three teams that move on to nationals, the top three golfers not on one of those teams will also earn a spot in the national field, and Gartrell is currently three shots back of that cut-off with a 151.
After shooting matching scores of 77 on Monday, Abbey Williams and Shelby Lewis did it again on Tuesday and are now tied for 20th at 154. They were the other two Moccasins to birdie No. 9, along with Gartrell, but they did their teammate one better with birdies on No. 7 as well. That gave Williams an even-par 36 over the front nine, or Tuesday's second half, and Lewis a 37.
Ashley Zagers and Tori Higgins are tied for 45th with overall scores of 160, as Zagers turned in a 79 and Higgins added an 81. Though Higgins' score was not counted, both players contributed to the strong finish that saw the Mocs play the final three holes at -3.
Larsson added to her individual lead for Barry by shooting a 72, which combined with her 68 from Monday puts her at -4 (140) for the tournament. She leads West Florida individual qualifier Paloma Vaccaro by six shots, and Tampa individual Kiira Riihijarvi by seven. The South Super Regional scoring record is -4 (212), set by Nova Southeastern's Liliana Cammisa in 2012.
The final round of the South Super Regional begins Wednesday morning at 8:30 Central Time/9:30 Eastern, and Florida Southern will be in the first wave playing with Lynn and Lee.