Sun Devils Lead After First Round
The Pepperdine junior shot a 1-under-par 71 Wednesday to extend her lead to four shots at the 25th NCAA women's golf championships.
Vargas has been content to pick her spots and leave it to others to fire at the pins.
'You can't force it,' she said. 'You can't go out there and say, 'I'm going to birdie every single hole.' It's a very challenging golf course. You have to keep it simple. It's fairways and greens and trying to make putts.'
Arizona State, attempting to add to its record six national titles, built a three-stroke edge on defending champion Duke in the team competition. The Sun Devils led by 11 shots at one point but frittered away their bulging lead down the stretch.
'I'm happy with how we played up until the last four holes,' coach Melissa Luellen said. 'One time I looked and we were 11 shots ahead and kind of getting comfortable. Sometimes the players can look at that and kind of coast along instead of staying in their plan.'
Even though the Sun Devils began the day a shot back of Southern California, they were stone-faced as they walked to the putting green after completing play, aware they had wasted the chance to take a substantial lead.
'The wind kicked up a little bit and the greens were getting firmer,' Luellen said. 'The conditions seemed like they changed within the back nine. I don't think we adjusted very well.'
Vargas, who held a one-shot lead after her opening 68, stands at 5-under 139 midway through the tournament at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.
Arizona State's Jennifer Osborn was the only other player under par, shooting a 73 to stand at 1-under 143.
'It was harder to hold greens if you were attacking pins,' Osborn said of the Sun Devils' late slip. 'We may have gotten a little bit (mentally) tired. But we still hung in there, we're still doing OK. That's the main thing.'
The Sun Devils followed an opening 4-over 292 with a 294 and were at 10-over 586. Duke improved five shots from a first-round 297 to get to 589.
'That's more like it,' Duke coach Dan Brooks said. 'It's not like we didn't show up yesterday; I just think we had a learning day. We learned some today, too. There are some greens that are getting a little bit firmer. They're behaving like you would expect greens to behave on a new course.'
The tournament is the first event at Scarlet since Jack Nicklaus oversaw a $4.2-million update and reconstruction of Alister MacKenzie's design.
Southern California was another two shots back in third place at 591, followed by Tennessee (593), Purdue and Pepperdine (596), Auburn (599), Florida (600), LSU (605) and California (606).
Tiffany Tavee's second consecutive 72 was the low round for the Sun Devils. Besides Osborn's 73, Azahara Munoz had a 74 and Alissa Kuczka a 75.
Duke, the No. 1-ranked team in the regular season, was led by Elizabeth Janangelo, who shot a 71 after an opening 77. Jennie Lee had a 72, Amanda Blumenherst a 74 and 2005 NCAA medalist Anna Grzebien had a 75.
First-round leader USC needed 300 shots after taking 291 in the opening round.
Vargas, a native of Colombia, didn't have a bogey in her first-round 68 but opened the second round by dropping a shot on the first hole after hitting her drive into the left rough and behind three trees.
'I was actually pretty calm,' she said. 'On this type of course, a bogey is not something real bad. You have to let it be and keep going and forget about it. You can't change what you just did, so you move on.'
She recovered with birdies at holes No. 4 and 16, skirting trouble the rest of the way by finishing with only two missed fairways.
Osborn's round featured an eagle on the par-5 14th. She hit a driver and 3 wood to set up a 10-foot uphill putt.
Florida's Tiffany Chudy shot a 75 after an opening 69 and was at even-par 144 along with Tennessee's Violeta Retamoza, who had the low round of the day with a 69.
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Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son
ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.
Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.
''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''
They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.
''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''
Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.
''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''
Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.
Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.
Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.
Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?
Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.
Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”
Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.
Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.
The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.