Delaney Underwood

Central's Delaney Underwood in action at the El Campeon course in Florida

HOWEY-IN-THE-HILLS, Fla. — A final-hole birdie boosted Delaney Underwood (senior, Mitchellville, Colfax-Mingo HS) to an 83 as the Central College women’s golf team appeared likely to settle in 22nd place after the second round of the NCAA Division III Championships Wednesday.

Play was delayed due to the threat of late-afternoon lightning and thunder showers and several teams had not completed their rounds by early evening. Central shot 349 and is at 347-349—696 in the 29-team, 72-hole tournament. The field will be cut to the top 15 teams following Thursday’s third round.

Competing at the Mission Inn Resort and Club’s par-73 El Campeon Golf Course, Underwood is at 84-83—167 and was tied for 80th individually. Mackenzie Biggs (junior, Bloomington, Ill., Normal HS) is at 86-87--173, Thea Lunning (senior, Mason City) has 89-89—189. Lydia Grond (sophomore, Hull, Boyden-Hull HS) has 89-90—179 and Madison Clark (senior, Bloomington, Ill., Central Catholic HS) is at 95-97–192.

Conditions differed from the chilly weather the Dutch dealt with in the Midwest this spring.

“It was tough out there,” coach Tabitha Schumacher said. “It was 70 when we started but there was not a lot of wind and not much cloud cover, then it got hot fast.

“Overall, I’m not disappointed. I just feel like we didn’t hit the ball quite as solid as we did yesterday. And we still had some bright moments.”

Underwood’s opening round Tuesday was scarred by a 9 on the par-4 18th hole but she capped Wednesday’s round with a birdie on the 369-yard finishing hole.

“She made a solid putt, probably a 12-footer, for birdie which was really nice,” Schumacher said. “She probably wanted that hole back after yesterday so to get a birdie was nice to see.”

Tee times for Thursday’s round won’t be set until second-round play is completed but Schumacher expects the Dutch will start early in the morning. Making the leap seven spots to 15th to make the cut will require a serious charge but that won’t be the focus.

“We’re going to get a little more rest and then try again tomorrow,” Schumacher said. “We have three seniors and more than likely it’s their last round of collegiate golf, so having them going out showing what they’re capable of is going to be big. And team-wise, we’ll see what we can do. I definitely think we still have the potential to move up.”

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