Yuen remains in contention for first collegiate win

Calum McAndrew

Wrist injuries have plagued the past couple years of Missouri’s Jessica Yuen. But fighting for her first collegiate title in Athens, Georgia, she appears to have recaptured some of her best form.

As the Tigers struggled to a second-round 23-over team total of 311, Yuen held onto her spot in the top five of the individual leaderboard at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic at the University of Georgia Golf Course.

The senior will start at even par Sunday after posting a second-round 2-over 74 on Saturday to follow her 2-under 70 on Friday. She trails Ingrid Lindblad of LSU by five strokes.

In the team event, LSU stuttered Saturday to relinquish its team lead to a soaring South Carolina. The Gamecocks posted the only under-par team score of the day with a 1-under 287 and will take a five-stroke lead over Arkansas into the final round at 4-over for the competition.

Missouri sits in 14th after Round 2, 32 strokes behind South Carolina. Its problems begin with having to use a round in the 80s as its fourth score.

Sophia Yoemans posted Missouri’s fourth score with a 10-over 82, beating out teammate Noelle Beijer’s drop score of 84 by two.

Brianne Bolden posted Missouri’s second-best score behind Yuen, but again struggled on her back nine. The sophomore made the turn in the red in both Friday and Saturday’s rounds, but followed it up with a 6-over-par inward nine. She posted a 77 on Saturday to remain in a tie for 43rd on the leaderboard.

Freshman Emily Staples saw a three-shot improvement on her first round score, as she posted a six-over 78 in the second round. She was the only player for the Tigers to post a better score Saturday than on Friday.

Missouri is 36 over for the tournament, and just four strokes separate it, Louisville, Vanderbilt and Alabama. It is seven strokes short of a spot in the top 10. Yuen will need help from her teammates if Missouri is to climb above of any of those programs Sunday.

Although Yuen’s day could have been even better, as she finished her second round with three bogeys in her final four holes. Her hunt for a first collegiate title is still on. If she is able to keep her spot in the top 5, it would be her sixth all-tournament finish at Missouri.