JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. – Charleston Southern juniors Hayley McNeill and Milleina Ohara are in the top-30 of a strong field through 36 holes at the Briar's Creek Invitational. CSU is 12th as a team, just one stroke out of a tie for ninth between Boston College, No. 26 Ohio State and No. 49 East Carolina, and one ahead of No. 48 Wisconsin and No. 35 North Carolina.
McNeill (T-21st) fired rounds of even-par 72 and one-over 73 Monday at The Golf Club at Briar's Creek. Ohara (T-27th) carded a pair of 73's, building off her excellent final round two weeks ago at the UNF Collegiate. Senior Shelby Thompson (T-33rd) is just outside the top third of the 93-player field following efforts of 73 and 74.
No. 6 Florida, the defending champion in the event hosted by the College of Charleston, has a healthy ten shot lead on Campbell thanks to a 13-under 563. Campbell is the only team in red numbers heading into Tuesday morning's final round. No. 27 Illinois sits in third at +1, a shot in front of No. 43 Louisville and No. 15 Miami. CSU is only five shots back of seventh-place Michigan State in the field that features four top-30 programs and ten in the top-50.
College of Charleston's Laura Fuenfstueck and Louisville's Olivia Cason are tied for the individual lead at seven-under 137. Four players are tied at -4, and two are at -3. Eighteen players are under par.
McNeill is seeking her third straight top-ten finish and is the hunt to do so. She had three birdies in each round Monday, including two on the front nine on her first 18 en route to a level par final score.
Ohara birdied her first hole of round two and hit the ball well all day to play perhaps her steadiest 36 of the campaign.
Thompson highlighted her day by playing the final eight holes of the opening round in one-under par. She rolled home birdies at the par-four eighth and par-five tenth holes.
melie Flink (T-58th) and Bella Johnson (T-70th) are the other players in coach Matt Cram-Smith's lineup. Flink turned in a first round 75, while Johnson's best was a second round 76.
Final round shotgun play is set to begin Tuesday at 9 a.m. CSU will play alongside East Carolina and Ohio State.