Coastal’s hot day gets blown away at NCAA Regional

The Coastal Carolina women’s golf team scorched out of the gate to an 8-under through the opening nine holes of the NCAA Central Regional’s second round, but the Chanticleers cooled off on the back nine and settled for a 9-over 297 at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman, Okla.

Coastal combined to post 12 birdies over the initial six holes of the day with five of those coming from the putters of Frida Castillo and Marissa Hinchman. In all, the Chants finished the round with 14 birdies, the most of any team.

The Chanticleers went to the clubhouse with a two-day tally of 590 and 13th on the leaderboard with the top 12 seeded team still to complete their rounds. The winds at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Course picked up during the later rounds resulting in some higher scores, which catapulted Coastal into a tie for fourth heading into the third and final day of the tournament. Coastal, ranked 39th, is tied with No. 15 Arizona State for fourth and only a stroke behind No. 9 Florida for third. The fourth-ranked and host Sooners lead the field with a 7-under 569 score.

Castillo, a sophomore, led the Chanticleers on the day with an even-par 72, moving up the leaderboard to 39th with a 36-hole score of 149 (77-72). She had arguably the best opening five holes of her career, bookending a par on 12 with birdies on 10, 11, 13 and 14. Castillo made 20 and 15-foot putts on 10 and 11 before sinking six-foot putts on 13 and 14. A bogey on 16 pushed to 3-under at the turn. She quickly made up for the bogey with a tap-in birdie on the par-4 first hole. She then struggled over her final eight holes, playing them a combined four over.

Marissa Hinchman, playing the second round of her NCAA postseason career, set the pace for Coastal for the day as she started with three straight birdies. She stayed 3-under with pars on her next five holes before suffering a double-bogey on 18 after finding a hazard.  The freshman went on to par the next three holes, but finished the next six holes a combined 8-over. Hinchman (78-79) is tied for 101st overall with a two-round total of 157.

The Chanticleer trio of Brittany Henderson, Jessica Alexander and Lena Schaeffner each played the round with matching 3-over 75 tallies.

Henderson, who entered the round tied for third on the individual leaderboard, started the day par-bogey-birdie. She then found three straight pars before knocking down a birdie putt on the par-4, 394-yard 16th to move to 1-under on the round and into a tie for second individually. Three more pars followed for the senior; however, she would go on to trade bogeys for pars over her final eight holes. She is tied for seventh overall with and even-par 144 (69-75) through two rounds of play.

Alexander started the day with a par followed by a bogey and two additional pars. She then birdied back-to-back holes to move to 1-under on the round. A bogey on 16 followed by pars on 17 and 18 put her back to even at the turn. Bogeys bookended a trio of pars on her first five holes of her back nine. But the veteran responded with a birdie putt on the par-3 sixth to move back to 1-over. Two pars followed before suffering a double-bogey on nine that led to her 75. Her score of 71-75=146 (+2) is tied for 16th in the 126-competitor field.

Schaeffner, who was celebrating her birthday with her second career NCAA postseason round, also started the day strong, posting a 1-over through six holes. She got back to even with a birdie on the par-4 16th and closed her front nine with two of four straight pars. However, like her teammates, she also struggled through her final seven holes. She bogeyed three, four and seven and made par putts on five, six, eight and nine. She moved 16 slots up the individual leaderboard into a tie for 61 with a 151 (76-75).

The Chanticleers tee off on the final round of the Regional at 8:36 a.m. CT. Coastal is paired with No. 15 Arizona State and No. 21 Texas Tech.

The top eight teams in the field along with the top two individuals not on an advancing team move on to the NCAA Championship in Athens, Ga.

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