WAHIAWA, Hawai’i – The New Mexico State women’s golf team used a day of season and career lows on Wednesday to move up the leaderboard at the Rainbow Wahine Invitational being played at the par-72, 6,228-yard Leilehua Golf Course.
The Aggies shot a season-best round of 8-over-par 296 during round two to move up from a tie for third after the first round to sole possession of second place heading into Thursday’s final round. NM State, with a total score of 25-over 601 (305-296), is only two shots back of leader and host Hawai’i, who will enter the final round at 23-over 599 (304-295).
First-round leader Sacramento State is right behind the Aggies at 26-over 602 and in third, while Colorado State, which was tied with NM State after round one, also is within shouting distance at 27-over 603 and in fourth place.
The Aggies’ charge was led by sophomore Viviana Macias and junior Paige Darwin, both of whom shot career-low rounds on Wednesday. Macias and Darwin find themselves in a group of seven golfers that are tied for seventh place after two rounds with a total score of 6-over-par 150.
Macias shot a 1-under 71 on Wednesday, her first round under par as an Aggie. The day did not start well for Macias, as she bogeyed and double bogeyed her first two holes. But Macias turned it around the rest of the day, finishing with five birdies including a stretch where she birdied four out of six holes.
Darwin, meanwhile, sank three birdies of her own en route to carding a 1-over 73, two shots better than her previous career low which she shot during NM State’s home tournament at the beginning of the month.
Freshman Valeria Macias, who was the Aggies’ top scorer after round one, shot a 5-over-par 77 on Wednesday and now sits in tie for 14th place with a total score of 7-over 151 (74-77).
For the second-straight tournament, junior Laura Barron tied her career low for a round. Barron used two birdies to shoot a 3-over 75 during the second round. She also shot a 3-over during the second round of the Price’s “Give ‘Em Five” Intercollegiate to tie her career low.
Barron is in a group of six golfers tied for 23rd place, a group that also includes Aggie sophomore Kacey Dalpes. Barron and Dalpes both will enter the final round at 10-over 154.
The field is led by Northern Arizona’s Kaitlen Parsons who started the day in a three-way tie for the lead. Parsons has a total score of 1-over 145 and has a one-shot lead over Selu Fotu of BYU, who is at 2-over 146, and a two-shot lead over Raquel Elk of Hawai’i, who sits at 3-over 147.
The Rainbow Wahine Invitational concludes on Thursday with the final 18 holes. The round is set to begin with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. local time (12:30 p.m. MT). Fans can follow the action live with live scoring at www.golfstat.com or can log on to NMStateSports.com after the tournament for a complete recap of NM State team and individual results.
2-NM STATE +25 601 (305-296)
T7-VIVIANA MACIAS +6 150 (79-71)
T7-PAIGE DARWIN +6 150 (77-73)
T14-VALERIA MACIAS +7 151 (74-77)
T23-LAURA BARRON +10 154 (79-75)
T23-KACEY DALPES +10 154 (75-79)