Senior Pimchanok Kawil fired a school-record seven-under par 65 on Saturday to move into second place at six-under par 138 (73-65) after two rounds at Kentucky's Bettie Lou Evans Invitational. The Rockets shot three-over par 291 as a team and are in fifth place in the team standings at 14-over par 590 and just eight strokes out of second place. Kawil eclipsed the previous record by two strokes, one she shared with Sathika Ruenreong (2014) and Tammy Clelland (2006).
Kawil opened her round with three birdies and a bogey and hit the turn at three-under par. She then opened her back nine with three straight birdies to get to six-under. After five straight pars, Kawil closed out her record-breaking round with a birdie on her final hole.
"I had a lot of fun out there today," Kawil said after shooting the best round of her life. "I was very excited after beginning the back nine with three straight birdies, but I tried to stay calm and said to myself, 'Let's see how the rest of this round goes.' I think my goal of going out to have fun and do the best for my team was working for me. I also want to thank the coaches for helping me out there, my teammates always showing support and sharing good energy with me, and for everybody that has supported me both here and in Thailand.
Kawil has enjoyed previous success at the Wildcats' tournament. She registered a career-low two-under par 214 (69-76-69) last year en route to a third-place showing.
"I feel good and confident playing on this course," Kawil said. "I think it's because I played well here last year and I hope I can do it again tomorrow."
"I couldn't be happier for Pim," Head Coach Jenny Coluccio said. "She didn't do anything special or out of the ordinary for her game today. She was able to get the putts to fall and create a lot of opportunities throughout the day. Pim did a fabulous job of staying in the moment and recognizing when she needed help. She is a hard worker, open to learning new things each day and has an infectious energy about her."
Senior Pinyada Kuvanun also shot under par for the Rockets, finishing with a one-under 71 and is tied for 12th place at one-over par 145 (74-71). Senior Natcha Daengpiem is tied for 39th place at eight-over par 152 (77-75) with junior Saranlak Tumfong tied for 58th place at 12-over par 156 (75-81). Junior Donchanok Toburint also carded an eight-over 80, a 10-stroke improvement from Friday, and is in 73rd place at 26-over par 170 (90-80).
Junior Thunpijja Sukkasem improved her total from Friday by five shots and is tied for 70th place at 17-over par 161 (83-78) competing as an individual.
"We had a lot of good things happen today for our team," Coluccio said. "Donchanok and Thunpijja made some more great strides mentally, and we battled back after some avoidable mistakes. This crew showed their grit today."
Toledo will conclude the tournament tomorrow with a 9:00 a.m. shotgun start.
1. Kentucky 280-286=566 (-10); 2. Penn State 296-286=582 (+6); 3. Middle Tennessee 295-288=583 (+7); 4. Notre Dame 291-293=584 (+8); 5. Toledo 299-291=590 (+14); T6. Western Kentucky 296-298=594 (+18); T6. Eastern Kentucky 304-290=594 (+18); T6. Indianapolis 300-294=594 (+18); 9. Memphis 297-299=596 (+20); 12. East Tennessee State 311-294=605 (+29); 11. Akron 308-305=613 (+20); 12. Columbia 307-308=615 (+39);
TOP FIVE INDIVIDUALS
1. Leonie Bettel (UK) 71-66=137 (-7); 2. Pimchanok Kawil (Toledo) 73-65=138 (-6); T3. Hanley Long (MTSU) 70-70=140 (-4); T3. Cara Basso (PSU) 72-68=140 (-4); 5. Emma Albrecht (UND) 70-71=141 (-3)
2. Pimchanok Kawil 73-65=138 (-6); T12. Pinyada Kuvanun 74-71=145 (+1); T39. Natcha Daengpiem 77-75=152 (+8); T58. Saranlak Tumfong 75-81=156 (+12); Ind.-T70. Thunpijja Sukkasem 83-78=161 (+17); 73. Donchanok Toburint 90-80=170 (+26)