Kate Smith enters the final round of the Big Ten Championship tied for ninth on the individual leaderboard.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Smith Makes Charge at Big Ten Championship

By NU Athletic Communications

Kate Smith fired a second-round 68 to make a charge into the top 10 on the individual leaderboard on the second day of the 2018 Big Ten Women's Golf Championship in Maineville, Ohio on Saturday.

Smith, a sophomore from Detroit Lakes, Minn., scorched the 6,357-yard layout at TPC River's Bend with a four-under-par round that vaulted her into a tie for ninth through 36 holes in an 84-player field that includes 11 golfers ranked among the top 100 in the nation.

Smith is nine strokes back of individual leader Jaclyn Lee from Ohio State (66-68-134) through two rounds, but just four strokes behind Michigan State's Allyson Geer, Ohio State's Rio Watanabe and Maryland's Xiaolin Tian, who are in a three-way tie for second at 139.

While Smith put together an outstanding round, the Huskers slipped one spot to 11th in the team standings with a second-round total of 302. Nebraska enters Sunday's final round at 602. 

Maryland put together an impressive eight-under-par 280 on Saturday to climb to the top of the team standings at 568 through two rounds. The Terrapins own a tenuous one stroke lead over Michigan State (283-286-569), while Ohio State sits in third at 571 (289-282). Purdue (578) and Illinois (582) are both within striking distance of the top spot, rounding out the top five in the team standings.

Noor Ahmed, who carded Nebraska's best first-round score with a 72 on Friday, managed a 77 on Saturday. The freshman from Folsom, Calif., enters Sunday's final round tied for 36th at 149.

Husker senior Audrey Judd (Olathe, Kan.) produced a 75 on Saturday. She sits in a tie for 50th at 152 through 36 holes. Sophomore Haley Thiele (Wahoo, Neb.) rounded out Nebraska's team score on Saturday with an 82. Thiele owns a two-round total of 162 and enters Sunday's final round in 77th.

Fellow sophomore Annie Sritragul (Bangkok, Thailand) settled for an 83 in the second round, slipping into a tie for 69th at 159 through two rounds. Freshman Hannah Thiele rounds out the Husker contingent in 83rd (171).

The Big Ten Championship concludes with the final 18 holes on Sunday beginning with tee times off No. 1 and No. 10 at 7 a.m. (CT). Live scoring will be available from GolfStat.com.

Big Ten Championship
April 20-22, 2018
Maineville, Ohio
TPC River's Bend
Par 72, 6,357 Yards

Team Standings (Two Rounds)
1. Maryland - 288-280-568
2. Michigan State - 283-286-569
3. Ohio State - 289-282-571
4. Purdue - 293-285-578
5. Illinois - 292-290-582
6. Northwestern - 293-292-585
7. Michigan - 298-290-588
T8. Wisconsin - 299-291-590
T8. Indiana - 301-289-590
10. Iowa - 299-299-598
11. Nebraska - 300-302-602
T12. Minnesota - 302-301-603
T12. Penn State - 309-294-603
14. Rutgers - 312-301-613

Individual Leaderboard (Two Rounds)
1. Jaclyn Lee, Ohio State - 66-68-134
T2. Allyson Geer, Michigan State - 67-72-139
T2. Rio Watanabe, Ohio State - 72-67-139
T2. Xiaolin Tian, Maryland - 72-67-139
T5. Sarah Burnham, Michigan State - 72-69-141
T5. Bing Singhsumalee, Illinois - 71-70-141
T7. Cara Basso, Penn State - 75-67-142
T7. Melati Putri, Purdue - 71-71-142
T9. Kate Smith, Nebraska - 75-68-143
T9. Ludovica Farina, Maryland - 71-72-143
T9. Katie Sharp, Michigan State - 70-73-143
T9. Virunpat Olankitkunchai, Maryland - 74-69-143

Nebraska Individuals
T9. Kate Smith - 75-68-143
T36. Noor Ahmed - 72-77-149
T50. Audrey Judd - 77-75-152
T69. Annie Sritragul - 76-83-159
77. Haley Thiele - 80-82-162
83. Hannah Thiele - 83-88-171

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