GREENVILLE, N.C. --- Top-seeded Duke fired a second round team tally of 11-under-par to ascend atop the leader board at the 2010 NCAA East Regional being held at the 6,325-yard, par-72 Ironwood Golf and Country Club.
The Blue Devils began the day 10 strokes off the pace, but were 10 strokes better than their closest competitor and hold a three-stroke lead entering tomorrow’s final round.
The third-ranked Blue Devils are eight-under (290-278=568) through 36 holes, two strokes in front of second-place Tennessee (283-287=570). West Coast Conference champion Pepperdine (281-290=571) is three strokes off the pace in third-place, followed by South Carolina (283-291=574), Auburn (2802-95=575), Vanderbilt (292-287=579), Conference USA winner Tulane (285-295=580) and Florida (284-297=581).
The top eight teams in the region advance to the NCAA Championship held at the Country Club of Landfall in Wilmington, N.C., May 18-21.
TCU and Texas Tech trail Florida by two strokes for the final qualifying spot with North Carolina three strokes behind the Gators.
Four players are tied for the overall individual lead. Duke’s Kim Donovan posted a low-round score of 68 to move to five-under (71-68=139). Texas Tech’s Rosalyn Kim carded a three-under 69 after shooting two-under Thursday. South Carolina’s Katie Burnett and Danielle Kang of Pepperdine each shot par to lower their scores to five-under.
After shooting a career-best 64 Thursday, East Tennessee State’s Nina Muehl carded a four-over 76 to fall back into a two-way tie for fifth-place with Erica Popson of Tennessee at four-under-par. Twenty golfers are within four strokes of the lead.
The final round begins Saturday morning at 8 a.m. with Florida, TCU and Tulane going off the No. 1 tee and East Tennessee, North Carolina and Texas Tech teeing off at No. 10.
Duke, Tennessee and Pepperdine begin their final rounds on the No. 1 tee and 9:06 a.m. Host East Carolina goes off No. 1 tee at 12:30 p.m.