Bryan, TX -
Sophomore Brittany Altomare aced the No. 16 hole and then birdied No. 18 to cap a strong finishing charge by the No. 5 Virginia women's golf team during the third round of the NCAA Championships. When play was stopped due to darkness, six teams remained on the Traditions Club course in Bryan, Texas.
Virginia managed to finish its third round, shooting 11-over 299 for a three-day total of 890. The Cavaliers are tied with LSU for third place at 26-over par. The Lady Tigers did not complete their round and will return with the other five teams Saturday morning to finish up before the final round gets underway. The Cavaliers will be in one of the last tee times Saturday afternoon.
UCLA, which did not finish its round, leads the field at 13-over while Purdue is in second place at 19-over.
A lightning delay, that lasted one hour and 50 minutes, stopped competition during the afternoon. After the teams returned to the course the Cavaliers went on a roll. The four scoring players for Virginia managed to play the final three holes at a combined 2-under par.
Altomare led the Cavaliers Friday by shooting even par 72. She is in fifth place at even par 216 when play was halted. Sophomore Nicole Agnello had her best day of the tournament, shooting 2-over 74, Calle Nielson carded a 76 and Portland Rosen posted her first counting round at 77. Joy Kim shot 81.
"It was a long day," said Virginia coach Kim Lewellen. "We teed off in the afternoon and then had to sit through a two-hour suspension of play. When the girls got back on the course, we made a bit of a charge and moved back up the leaderboard. We got some strokes back that we lost on the front nine. There were a lot of swings of emotions today. We're very excited to possibly be playing in the last group during the final round."
Altomare said the ace was her first since the summer before her senior year in high school when she posted a hole-in-one at the U.S. Girls Junior Championship. Friday she used an eight iron from 143 yards to record her first ace as a collegiate.
"The wind was blowing to the right, so I hit a punch shot and it landed about a foot short and rolled in," said Altomare, who led the tournament after Wednesday's opening round. "I feel like I am playing pretty good. I just have to figure out how to play the front nine. Other than that it was a great day."
After opening with a par, Altomare posted three consecutive bogeys on the front nine before playing her next 11 holes at even par.
"All of the girls played the back side really well today," Lewellen said. "Those are some difficult holes. Brittany's ace gave her some great momentum to finish her round. I'm excited to see what she can do tomorrow in the final round."
Tee times for Saturday's final round will be determined after the third round is completed Saturday morning. Live scoring of the tournament is online at NCAASports.com. Live video streaming of the No. 16, 17 and 18 holes is also online at NCAASports.com.