USC takes NCAA women's lead


EUGENE, Ore. – The second round of the NCAA Women’s Division I Championship provided more separation throughout the leaderboard but it’s still a tight race at the top. Several of the nation’s top teams need to scramble on Day 3 or they risk going home early.

Nine teams will be cut after Sunday’s third round at Eugene Country Club and the top 15 will play for a spot in the top eight after 72 holes. Those eight will head into match play to determine the ultimate team champion on Wednesday.

The individual champion will be crowned on Monday after 72 holes of stroke play. The 2015 champion, Alabama senior Emma Talley, is tied for 85th place, 15 shots behind the leader.

Team leader: USC (-7)

Second place: Washington (-2)

The others: UCLA (+1), Stanford (+2), Oklahoma State (+3), Oregon (+3), Arizona (+4), Northwestern (+5).

Work to do: Georgia (16th place, +13), Florida (T-17, +14), Alabama (21st place, +16).

Individual leaders: Miami freshman Dewi Weber (69-66, -9); Tennessee sophomore Anna Newell (69-67, -8)

Skinny: Let’s start with the team race first. There are no real surprises near the top of the leaderboard. Perennial powerhouse USC is cruising at the top and 2015 team champion Stanford is defending its crown with a strong effort in fourth place. Host Oregon, ranked 20th, is tied for fifth place, proving that local, course knowledge can go a long way for the Ducks this week.

This, however, is more about the bottom of the leaderboard than the top at the moment. Top-ranked Alabama played terribly in Friday’s opening round and beat that effort by only eight shots on Day 2. The Crimson Tide are in 21st place, but are only five shots behind 15th-place Virginia. Remember, the top 15 teams advance to Monday’s fourth round.

The individual race is only halfway complete but unheralded Miami freshman Dewi Weber followed a first-round 69 with an impressive 66 and leads Tennessee sophomore Anna Newell by a shot. Weber made six birdies and an eagle, but closed with consecutive bogeys on the final two holes.

Oregon senior Caroline Inglis shot the low round of the championship with a second-round 65. She’s tied for fourth place.

Top-ranked Bronte Law, a UCLA junior, is tied for 19th place at 1 under par, eight shots behind Weber.

Live coverage begins Monday on Golf Channel.