Two-time Women's State Amateur champion Lachell (Simmons) Poffenberger nearly didn't make it to the tournament Tuesday morning.
She had been involved in an automobile accident the night before that left her with a nasty bruise on the right side of her face as well as on her left arm.Even though her right eye was nearly swollen shut and her left arm was throbbing, Poffenberger went out and shot the lowest score in the second round of the tournament, a one-under-par 71 at Oakridge Country Club.
That vaulted her into contention at 149, just two shots behind defending champion Jamie Stevenson and first-day leader Kami Whitehead going into Wednesday's final 18 holes.
"I figured I had a good excuse if I played bad," said Poffenberger. "But I think I was more relaxed today."
She had more work in store Wednesday to overtake Stevenson and Whitehead, who lost most of her lead on the last few holes.
While Stevenson was rallying with birdies on three of the last four holes, Whitehead suffered a double-bogey and a bogey on her 16th and 17th holes.
"I finished well today and handled myself a little better than yesterday," said Stevenson. "I was more patient today and I knew if I stuck it out my score would drop."
With four holes to play, Stevenson found herself two-over par and four strokes behind Whitehead. However, she sank a 12-foot birdie putt at No. 6 (she played the back nine first), bogeyed No. 7 and came back to birdie 8 and 9, the latter with another 12-foot putt.
Stevenson, who will be a junior at BYU, and Whitehead, who will be a senior at Weber State, have played together many times in junior golf and on the collegiate circuit.
Still in contention at 151 was three-time champion Terry Hansen, BYU golfer Summer Fenstermaker at 152 and BYU-freshman-to-be Carrie Summerhays at 153.
Flight leaders include Sharon Royce (162), Cynthia Pruyne (166), Naomi Griffith (169) and Merri Trexler (193).