By Cameron Jourdan
Special to The Tuscaloosa News
STILLWATER, Okla. – When the Alabama women’s golf team made the turn, it saw a different golf course.
The Crimson Tide has struggled on holes 1-9 through the first two rounds of the women’s NCAA golf championship at Karsten Creek Golf Club, but has been dominant on the back nine.
Alabama made 12 birdies on the back nine, firing a 2-under par 286 on Saturday during the second round. Cheyenne Knight and Lauren Stephenson carried Alabama, as Knight hit five birdies on the back nine, including four in a row on Nos. 11-14. She sits tied for first at 5-under along with Wake Forest’s Jennifer Kupcho and Arizona’s Bianca Pagdanganan, who made an ace on the par-3 No. 11.
The Crimson Tide’s 286 is the second-best round at Karsten Creek, trailing only UCLA’s 9-under 279, which it shot Saturday. The Bruins and Crimson Tide were the only teams who shot under par during the second round.
“This is a great golf course for (Knight),” coach Mic Potter said. “She drives the ball in the fairway, she is a fantastic putter. She is playing the way she has for two years.”
After Sunday’s third round, nine teams and three individuals will be cut, but Potter said his team is positioning itself to get a top seed.
Knight reiterated Potter’s words.
“This is so much different than the last few years,” Knight said. “We just want to gun for that No. 1 seed.”
Second-round play was delayed more a litt more than an hour because of lightning.