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Wilkins turns up heat at Canes & Cardinal Classic

Senior tied for second entering final round

April 6, 2009 · Athletic Communications
MIAMI LAKES, Fla. - Temperatures in the mid-90s and wind gusts of up to 30 miles per hour were a factor during the first day at the Canes & Cardinal Classic so Middle Tennessee's Leigh Wilkins turned up the heat on the course at Don Shula's Golf Resort.

Wilkins continued her stellar spring campaign with a 2-over 146 through the first two rounds and is tied for second, two shots behind San Jose State's Erica Moston, heading into Tuesday's final round. Wilkins began her day with a birdie, bogey and an eagle and continued her consistent play throughout the afternoon.

Wilkins opened with an even round of 72 and came back with a 74 in the second round. She totaled six birdies and an eagle during the two rounds and her eagle came on the toughest-playing hole on the course - No. 12. Wilkins holed her third shot on her third hole from 85 yards to nail the eagle.

"Leigh was just outstanding but she has played very well this year and especially during the spring," Middle Tennessee coach Chris Adams said. "She is really playing well and with a lot of confidence. She is battling, hitting it well, she is just scoring."

Middle Tennessee is seventh overall after firing a team-total 614 through the two opening rounds. San Jose State leads with a 15-over 591, followed by Washington State (603) and Texas State (605). In addition to Wilkins' solid play, sophomore Morgan Hale also is among the field's Top 20 performers. She is tied for 20th after shooting 9-over 153 through two rounds.

Stephanie Gough is tied for 37th with a 156, Mallory Bishop is tied for 49th with a 161 and Clara Leathers' score will not count toward individual results as she was disqualified during the first round.

"It was really unfortunate for Clara because there was no rules official and the hole was not clearly marked but she hit a shot from out of bounds based on their ruling," Adams said. "Her score will not count as an individual but after the first round her scores can count toward the team score and she came right back and contributed in the second round."

Fortunately, for Middle Tennessee, Bishop turned in a 79 in the opening round as the fourth team score to count. Like a majority of the field, all of Middle Tennessee's players posted slightly higher scores in the second round than the first.

"The heat was a factor and so was the wind as the gusts really picked up in the afternoon," Adams said. "The team just battled and kept battling and that's the key. We showed progress today and we won't to continue that going into the conference tournament. It would be important for us to make a move (Tuesday) and help continue to build the confidence."

Canes & Cardinal Classic
Don Shula's Golf Club, Par-72
Second round team scores

1 San Jose State 293-298 591 +15
2 Washington State 298-305 603 +27
3 Texas State 297-308 605 +29
4 Princeton 299-308 607 +31
5 Texas Tech 298-311 609 +33
7 Middle Tennessee 301-313 614 +38
8 Cincinnati 303-317 620 +44
8 Penn State 304-316 620 +44
10 Boise State 313-311 624 +48
11 Maryland 312-315 627 +51
12 Akron 313-317 630 +54

7 MT Team Scores (614)
T2 Leigh Wilkins 72-74 146 +2
T20 Morgan Hale 73-80 153 +9
T37 Stephanie Gough 77-79 156 +12
T49 Mallory Bishop 79-82 161 +17
DQ Clara Leathers DQ 80

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