Andy Sneddon, CMUChippewas.com
MESA, Ariz. - The Central Michigan women's golf team took a big step forward Saturday during the second round of the Clover Cup at Longbow Golf Club.
Three Chippewas posted sub-80 rounds as CMU recorded a 313 team score, a 19-shot improvement over their opening round 332.
The 54-hole, stroke-play event concludes on Sunday.
CMU stands in 17th place with a 645 team total, four shots behind 16th-place Indiana-Purdue-Indianapolis. CMU's 19-shot jump from round one to round two was the best among any of the 17 teams in the field.
Four of the five Chippewas improved on their score from day one to day two.
Holly Hines shot 76 to lead CMU on Saturday, while Bria Colosky shot 77, and Chloe Guschewski shot 78. Also for the Chippewas, Natalie Johnson posted an 82, and Kristen Wolfe shot 88.
"I was really happy with the three scores in the 70s," CMU coach Cheryl Stacy said. "Especially for Holly. She struggled (Friday) and she went to the range after her round and did some good range work.
"Mentally I think she was much more relaxed and clam, and she slowed everything down."
Guschewski is tied for 69th with a 159 total, while Colosky is at 164, Johnson at 165, Hines at 168, and Wolfe at 169.
Familiarity with the course, which is playing to par 72 over 6,184 yards, was a factor in the lower scores, Stacy said, and the competition is strong.
The field includes seven teams that are ranked in the top 100 by Golfstat.
"I just think they were really focused and more competitive," Stacy said. "Being in that atmosphere and the competition that helps.
"They definitely kept it in play better and were just more consistent, not as many big numbers, and we had more birdies too. A couple of them played better on the back side and that's a good sign because they closed."
TCU leads the event, which is hosted by Notre Dame, at even par 576, one shot better than SMU. Oklahoma is third at 5-over 581.
Annette Lynch of North Carolina-Wilmington shot a 5-under 67 on Saturday and for a 6-under 138 total. She leads by one shot over Nicole Autrique of South Florida and Brooke Graebe of TCU.