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Spartans stay in front, take four-shot lead into final round of Landfall Tradition; 12 individuals within three shots of title



The par-3 16th hole at the Country Club of Landfall Dye course is difficult on a rare calm day. When the wind is blowing in a golfer’s face and the hole is located on the right side of the green, as Landfall Tradition participants faced Saturday, well, it can be frightening.


Louisa Carlbom felt in control of her swing when she stepped to the tee late in the second round, even par for the day. Still, her pulse raced. Carlbom, a junior at San Jose State, pushed through the nervousness and struck a beautiful 7-iron shot, setting up one of two closing birdies to take the 36-hole lead.


Carlbom’s birdies on 16 and 17 wrapped a 2-under 70 and also helped the Spartans stretch their advantage to four shots over Wake Forest entering Sunday’s final round. With the individual and team titles on the line, she’ll strive to keep things simple.


“I will just stick to my game plan, get some good targets out there and just hit it,” said Carlbom, who has one career top-10 finish.


Carlbom ignited her round with a 15-foot birdie putt on the difficult 9th hole. She made seven birdies in her round, giving her 13 for the tournament.


“My strength this week has been my driver has been pretty straight and my putting has been pretty good,” she said.


Wake Forest’s Rachel Kuehn held the lead before her tee shot found the water short of the 16th green. The ensuing double bogey dropped her two shots behind Carlbom. She’s one of 12 players within three shots of the lead.


Kuehn wasn’t alone in her struggle at 16. It was the most difficult hole on the Dye in the second round, playing more than a half shot on par. There were 14 double bogeys and three others in the 96-player field.  


N.C. State freshman Vania Simont - making only her fourth college start - managed a shaky start and played the final holes bogey free in a 70 to pull within one shot of the lead.


“I stayed patient the whole 18,” Simont said. “I had a rough start, like the first seven, I wasn’t hitting it very good. But I stayed very calm and started to think very positively and really enjoyed the round today.”


Florida State’s Charlotte Heath and defending champion Justine Fournand are also in the group at 6-under. Alabama’s Benedetta Moresco shot 66, the low round of the day and one of only four sub-70 rounds. Tricky hole locations and swirling winds tested the players’ patience, strategy and skill. 


San Jose State continued to dominate the par-4s on Saturday. Through two rounds they are 15-under on the par-4s, which is 16 shots better than Wake.


“We had a great day today,” San Jose State coach Dana Dormann said after her team shot the low round (284) for the second consecutive day.


“We really brought it at the end of the round. Proud of the team for sticking with it, we had a little rough start but they came right back. We’re looking forward to having one more good round tomorrow.”


No. 4 South Carolina and No. 18 Florida State are lurking 10 shots back. The Gamecocks’ Louise Rydqvist putted for birdie on every hole in a smooth 67. She and her teammates will be on the attack Sunday.


“I think just go out there and get after it,” Rydqvist said of the final-round strategy. “Try and make as many birdies as we can and try and do our very best.”


Seahawks hope to bounce back on Sunday

The UNCW women’s golf team made two double bogeys on the 16th in the second round and were 6-over on their final two holes to shoot 306.


Victoria Levy leads the Seahawks, tied for 41st with a 147 total.


UNCW is in 16th place, two shots ahead of No. 41 Virginia Tech and only two shots behind No. 31 North Carolina entering the final holes. Finishing ahead of those two programs would likely boost UNCW’s national ranking (80) and help the team boost its resume for a potential at-large bid to an NCAA Regional in the spring.

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