SUNSET, S.C. – Another day, another round under par for Kentucky women’s golfer Leonie Bettel.
The senior posted her 12th round of par or better Tuesday at the Clemson Invitational at Lake Keowee, tying her with Isabelle Johansson (2015-16) for the most single-season rounds of par or better in school history. Bettel’s 12th such score was a 3-under-par 69 in the second round at the Reserve at Lake Keowee (par 72, 6,260 yards) to vault her up the leaderboard and into a tie for 15th place.
Bettel is at 2-under par overall and six shots behind the co-leaders (Julie McCarthy of Auburn and Michaela Williams from Tennessee) heading into Tuesday’s final 18 holes. Her round highlighted another solid team performance for the Wildcats, who shot a 293 after a tournament-opening 291.
UK has its second-best 36-hole mark of the season at 8-over par, behind only its Bettie Lou Evans Invitational pace that resulted in a team championship, but the Wildcats are in 14th place in one of the best fields in all of college golf.
An 18-team field stocked full of Southeastern Conference, Big 10 and Atlantic Coast Conference schools features 10 teams in the top 50 of Golfstat’s latest rankings, including five teams in the top 25 and two in the top 10. Just about all of them are playing well.
Kentucky will try to keep pace during Tuesday’s finale. Tee times will begin as early as 8 a.m. Junior Josephine Chang will be the Wildcats’ first player to tee off at 8:54 a.m. Live scoring will continue at GolfStat.com.
Bettel will be seeking her sixth top-10 finish of the season and seventh top-20 showing. Of course, those include three individual titles this season.
As far as blemishes are concerned, Bettel was perfect Monday. She didn’t allow a single bogey to make it on to her scorecard while adding three birdies. She birdied two of her final four holes to dip into the 60s.
Since bogeying four of her first five holes to begin the tournament, she’s played the course at 6-under par without a single bogey.
Bettel will tee off Tuesday at 9:21 a.m. Just in front of her will be junior Sarah Shipley, who enjoyed another strong day on the course. A day after a 1-under-par 71, Shipley carded a 73 in the second round. At even par through 36 holes, Shipley is tied for 26th.
Sophomore Rikke Svejgård Nielsen matched her tournament-opening 74 with another one Tuesday. She was staring at an even-par round after back-to-back birdies late in the round but double bogeyed her final hole, the par-4 No. 9.
Senior Claire Carlin dropped down the leaderboard with a 78 Tuesday. She’s in a tie for 75th at 6-over par.
Chang is in 89th position after a second-round 77. She’s at 12-over par.
No. 7 Vanderbilt leads the field by eight strokes at 21-under par. No. 14 Auburn (13-under par) and host and 13th-ranked Clemson (8-under par) follow.
This week’s tournament in South Carolina marks the final regular-season tournament of the season for the Wildcats. After the Clemson Invitational, UK will turn its focus on the postseason and the SEC Championship, which will take place April 17-21 in Birmingham, Alabama.