BYU golf: Yacaman leads Cougars to fifth place finish on day one

By Chris Scheitinger

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, Feb. 11 2013 8:27 p.m. MST

YORBA LINDA, Calif. – The BYU women’s golf team shot back-to-back rounds of 321 (+33) to finish day one of The Gold Rush in fifth place.

Shooting a 642 total (+66), the Cougars currently stand one stroke ahead of sixth place CSU Fullerton and 12 strokes behind fourth place UC Irvine.

“We started poorly and we finished poorly, but in the middle we played some really good golf,” BYU head coach Carrie Roberts said. “There are some bright things, but we also have to play better. It’s a very difficult golf course and to start off on this course is tough. I thought the girls fought, but we have to start off a little bit better and finish a little bit stronger.”

Yorba Linda Country Club proved to be difficult for many teams featuring tight fairways and fast, sloping greens.

Sophomore Maria Yacaman led the Cougars on the day going 16-over-par to tie for 20th place. After shooting an 82 (+10) in the first round, Yacaman found her swing in the second round, converting three birdies and seven pars to finish six-over-par.

“Maria just fought her way and did the best she could,” Roberts said. “Something clicked for her swing and she started hitting it better and trusted it. She was hitting it really good.”

Freshman Lea Garner followed up Yacaman for the Cougars finishing the day at 17-over-par. Garner played solid golf on the back nine during the first and second rounds, going two-over-par twice on the back nine.

Junior Annika Kahaiali'i had the biggest turnaround on the day for the Cougars. Despite struggling in the first round shooting a 16-over-par 88, Kahaiali'i shot a second round 76 (+4) converting two birdies and 11 pars.

“Annika played out of fear, realized what she was doing and turned it around,” Roberts said. “She decided to play with confidence and did so. It was a very impressive turn around.”

Conference foe Gonzaga currently sits in second place (+41), six strokes behind leader Long Beach State, while Santa Clara is tied for ninth place.

The Cougars will look to improve upon their standing during tomorrow's final round with tee times set to start at 8 a.m. PST. Follow the Cougars at golfstat.com.

Team Scores

1 Long Beach State +35

2 Gonzaga +41

3 San Diego State +47

4 UC Irvine +54

5 BYU +66

6 CSU Fullerton +67

7 Portland State +68

8 Nevada +70

T9 CSU-Northridge +71

T9 Santa Clara +71

11 Washington State +75

Chris Scheitinger is a student at Brigham Young University studying Public Relations. Contact him at cscheitinger@gmail.com

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