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Tusculum has 36-hole lead at the SAC Women's Golf Championship

Katie Tomassoni shot 74 as the Pioneers maintained the lead after two rounds of the 2017 South Atlantic Conference Championship (photo by Shawn Millsaps)
Katie Tomassoni shot 74 as the Pioneers maintained the lead after two rounds of the 2017 South Atlantic Conference Championship (photo by Shawn Millsaps)

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Tusculum shot a second round 303 for a two-day tally of 601 to maintain its lead at the 2017 South Atlantic Conference Women's Golf Championship.

The three-day, 54-hole event is being held at the par-72, 5,910-yard Link Hills Country Club.

The Pioneers are atop the leaderboard for a second straight day thanks to Monday's 15-over par score of 301.  TC was 15-over par as a team after its first three holes, but rebounded by playing even par for the final 15.

Pioneers established the lowest 18-hole score at a SAC Championship with its opening 298 on Sunday. But that record lasted all of 24 hours as Lenoir-Rhyne surpassed it with Monday's 297 and are in second place overall with 604, just three shots behind Tusculum. 

SAC Player of the Year Abbey Hartsell led the Bears with a 67 (-5).  But Hartsell wasn't even the top player in her own group as Carson-Newman's Elizabeth England fired a six-under par 66, which is not only the best round in SAC Championship history, but it is the best in Carson-Newman and SAC history overall.  The only other sub-70 round came in the 2003 championship as Tusculum's Rachel McFarland shot a three-under round of 69.

Carson-Newman is third in the team competition with 614 and is 13 shots out of the lead.  Wingate is fourth with 615, while Lincoln Memorial rounds out the top-five with 618.  Anderson is sixth with 620, followed by Coker (621), Queens (626), Catawba (638), Newberry (652) and Mars Hill (770).

Lenoir-Rhyne Ainee O'Connor is third on the leaderboard with her 74-75=149, while Tusculum's Taylor White and Allie Fletcher of Carson-Newman are tied for fourth with 150 (+6).  White carded a 77 on Monday following her career-best 73 in Sunday's opening round.

Tusculum All-SAC performers Ciara Rattana and Katie Tomassoni are tied for sixth place individually with a 36-hole total of 151.  Tomassoni posted the best score by Pioneer on Monday with her 74, while Rattana shot 75.  Cydney Murrell is tied for 12th with 153, while Taylor Lambertsen is 16th with 154.

Two Pioneers are playing as individual competitors including: Maggienella Basile (44th – 85-81=166) and Kelsey Haun (87-87).

The final round will start on Tuesday morning beginning at 8:30 a.m. at Link Hills as teams will be teeing off on the 1st and 10th holes.

Tusculum is vying for its third SAC Championship and first since 2001. Tuesday will also be the final round at Link Hills Country Club for Tusculum head coach Bob Dibble, who is retiring next month after a 28-year run with the Pioneers.

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