Utah Valley University sophomore Ana Raga moved up a spot to sit in a tie for first place after two rounds of play at the 2017 WAC Women's Golf Championship at Indian Hills Country Club in Mission Hills, Kansas. Two Wolverines will enter Friday's final round in the hunt for a WAC title, as freshman Justine Lauer is also tied for fifth.
After sitting in a three-way tie for second following her opening-round 73 on Wednesday, Raga moved up a spot to enter a three-way tie for first after carding another 73 on Thursday. The native of Venezuela is currently tied atop the individual leaderboard with a 6-over-par 146. The two-round tally is good enough to match the third-best 36-hole score in school history. Raga posted two birdies, 12 pars, three bogeys and one double bogey en route to her 3-over 73 on Thursday. For the tournament, Raga is also tied for the lead in birdies with five.
The freshman Lauer too enters the top five of the tournament after carding a 6-over-par 76 on Thursday. Lauer now sits at 11-over par (151) for the event after opening with a 5-over 75 on Wednesday.
"What a tournament so far for Ana and Justine. Those two have set themselves up nicely for a run at a tournament title on Friday, as well as left our team in the hunt for a WAC Championship," said head UVU coach Dr. Sue Nyhus. "This is what college golf is all about. It should be a fun day tomorrow."
As a team, the Wolverines also moved up a spot to sit in fourth place after two rounds of play at the tightly contested WAC Championship. UVU carded a 23-over-par 303 on Thursday en route to currently holding down the fourth spot with a 36-hole tally of 56-over par (616). The 616 marks Utah Valley's eighth-best 36-hole team score in program history, and the second round 303 marked the second-best team score of the day.
At 56-over, UVU sits just one stroke back of Seattle U for third place (+55), three shots back of the host UMKC Kangaroos for second place (+53) and 10 shots back of the tournament leader and three-time defending WAC Champion New Mexico State Aggies (+46). CSU Bakersfield will enter the final day in fifth place (+57), while UT Rio Grande Valley is in sixth (+74) and Chicago State is in seventh (+94).
The winning team, as well as the individual winner, will both receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Regional round that will be held May 8-10.
Besides Raga and Lauer, sophomore Carly Dehlin played well for the Wolverines on Thursday, as she moved up five spots on the individual leaderboard to enter into a tie for 20th place after recording a 6-over 76 on the day. Dehlin now sits at 17-over par for the tournament (81-76—157).
Redshirt freshman Kaylee Shimizu had a strong second round by carding an 8-over 78 to move into 30th place at 22-over par (84-78—162). Senior Kimberly Nyhus rounds out UVU's field of five, as she'll enter Friday's final round in 37th place (85-82—167).
Tied for first, Raga will enter Friday's final round deadlocked atop the individual leaderboard with NM State's Suthavee Chanachai (76-70—146) and Grand Canyon's Deanna Salvatori (72-74—146) at 6-over par.
The 2017 WAC Championship's final round begins Friday at 8 a.m. CT, and the Wolverines are slated to tee off between 8:40-9:20 a.m. Live scoring will be available by visiting Golfstat Results.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.