Red Raiders drop to ninth at NCAA Stanford Regional

LUBBOCK, Texas – No. 24 Texas Tech improved on its opening round score at the NCAA Stanford Regional on Tuesday as the Red Raiders combined for an 8-over-par 292 second round at the Stanford Golf Club.

Despite shooting three strokes better than their Monday round, the Red Raiders fell to ninth place heading into Wednesday’s third and final round. Texas Tech is 11 strokes off the cut line for the top-four teams that will advance to the NCAA Championships as the Red Raiders are now 19-over for the 54-hole tournament.

USC moved into the tournament lead with 18 holes to go as the Trojans fired the lowest round of the day at 8-under to push their team score to 12-under overall. Top-ranked Stanford trails its Pac-12 foe by four strokes in second place followed by LSU, which led after the first 18 holes, in third place at 5-under following an even-par round.

Purdue and Northwestern currently share the fourth and final spot at 8-over for the tournament as both schools turned in similar second rounds to the Red Raiders. The Boilermakers were 7-over as a team Tuesday, while Northwestern was 5-over to make up some ground from Monday’s opening round.

Amy Taylor and Anna Dong powered the Red Raiders throughout the second round as the pair combined for 11 of Texas Tech’s 13 birdies on the day. Taylor sank six birdies of her own en route to a 1-under 70 card that moved the senior to 1-over for the tournament and into a position to possibly challenge for an individual advancing position Wednesday.

Taylor concluded the round in a tie for 16th place on the individual leaderboard as she will look to secure her first NCAA Championships appearance of her career Wednesday. As it stands now, Taylor ranks tied for sixth among individuals whose school is not in the top three on the team leaderboard currently, trailing only Northwestern’s Jieni Li (2-under), Iowa State’s Ruby Chou (1-under) and Taglao Jeeravivitaporn ( Even) as well as Kentucky’s Laney Frye (Even) and Purdue’s Kan Bunnabodee (Even).

This is the first year of a new NCAA format where the top four schools and top two individuals from non-advancing teams advance to the national tournament. Under this format, two of the five individuals ahead of Taylor on the individual leaderboard – Northwestern’s Li and Purdue’s Bunnabodee – could also potentially qualify as part of the team rankings, meaning Taylor either needs to make up one or two strokes Wednesday depending on how the team race develops.

Dong, meanwhile, signed for an even-par 71 round following a strong finish to move into a tie for 28th place at 5-over for the tournament. She excelled at the par-3 locations Tuesday, draining birdies at the 14th early in the round and then again at the 3rd and 8th on what was her back nine. In fact, Dong birdied two of her final three holes with another key putt at the par-5 7th.

Dong will enter the final round tied with Gala Dumez on the individual leaderboard as Dumez posted a 4-over round that was one stroke better than Cecilie Nielsen. Chiara Horder rounded out the Texas Tech lineup with a 7-over card of her own.

The Red Raiders will be back in the 10 am CT pairing from the No. 10 tee Wednesday alongside Princeton and Kentucky. Live scoring will be available throughout the round at www.Golfstat.com.

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