Southern California still leads womens NCAAs


WILMINGTON, N.C. – Southern California shot even-par 288 to extend its lead to seven over Alabama in the lightning-delayed NCAA women’s golf championships Wednesday.

Play in the afternoon was halted twice by lightning and later stopped by heavy rain with 27 golfers on the course.

The second round will be completed Thursday morning before the third round begins at the Country Club of Landfall.

The Pac-10 is dominating the competition. Six teams from the conference are in the field, and four are in the top six in the standings. Arizona, in sixth place, shot the only under-par round Wednesday with a 2-under 286.

Arizona State freshman Jennifer Johnson shot 2-under-par 70 to take a one-shot lead over USC’s Jennifer Song in the individual competition. Johnson, at 7-under 137 for two rounds, had four birdies and one bogey on her first 10 holes. She parred the next seven holes before bogeying her final hole, the par-4 ninth.

Song overcame a double bogey on the seventh hole to shoot 71.

Four golfers, including first-round co-leader Maude-Aimee LeBlanc of Purdue, trail Johnson by three shots.

Southern Cal is trying for its third NCAA title. In each of its previous championships, 2003 and 2008, USC was the wire-to-wire winner.

Purdue is in third place, eight shots back. Top-ranked UCLA is 10 shots behind, followed by defending champion Arizona State (11 shots) and Arizona (12).

The 72-hole tournament at the 6,368-yard Pete Dye course is scheduled to end Friday.