Taylor McCorkle made Friday a day to remember during the final round of the Pizza Hut Lady Thunderbird Invitational.

More importantly, the North Dakota State sophomore from Oregon made Friday a day to remember by, in her words, making better decisions than she did Thursday at Sunbrook Golf Course in St. George, Utah. A lot of them.

McCorkle set Bison women's golf record for lowest 18- and 36-hole rounds, firing a 7-under-par 65 to post her second collegiate victory by two strokes over Southern Utah's Chanikan (Pluem) Yongyuan with a 3-under 141 total.

Her 65 bettered her personal collegiate career low by six strokes and broke Amy Anderson's school record of 66 set March 13, 2012 at the Jackrabbit Invitational. Her 141 total broke teammate Emma Groom's 36-hole record of 143 set April 10, 2018 at the Kansas City Intercollegiate.

"Sticking to my own game was what got me in the right zone off the bat, and playing smarter off the tee and on approach shots helped me stay in the zone," McCorkle wrote via text message to Wisconsin.Golf. "(Friday), I played a lot smarter than I did (Thursday), knowing when to go for pins and when not to was key for how (Friday's) round went. Before every shot, I asked myself where the spart spot to hit the ball was, and that helped me keep the big numbers off my card."

Before she knew it, McCorkle had a lot of little numbers on that record-setting scorecard. She made six birdies and one eagle (vs. just one bogey) in rallying from six shots behind first-round leader Sarah Bell of Oral Roberts to win the 84-player event.

McCorkle started on the 147-yard, par-3 third hole and opened with a birdie. She added another birdie at the par-5 seventh hole and was 2-under when she reached the back nine.

There, McCorkle went birdie-birdie on Nos. 10 and 11 and then parred her way to the 265-yard, par-4 14th hole where she drove the green and made the 8-foot eagle putt.

"After I followed the eagle up with back-to-back birdies, I tried not thinking about the earlier holes and stayed focused on what's ahead because that had been working up to that point," wrote McCorkle, who hit her drive on the 18th hole into the right rough, missed the green and made her only bogey before finishing par-par to close out the victory.

It was her third top-10 finish in seven starts this season. She also won the Diane Thomason Invitational at Iowa City, Iowa. 

When I finished, I didn't know at first that I would end up winning. My whole mindset for the day was to help the team move up the leaderboard. When I found out I won, I was pretty excited. Winning for the second time this season just makes me want to keep working at my game to prepare for the rest of the season."

McCorkle's epic round helped NDSU shoot 299 in the final round and finish sixth with a 607 total, the third-best 36-hole score for the Bison in program history. It also left McCorkle with the best showing among the six Wisconsin golfers in the tournament.

Milton native Mia Seeman, the 2017 WIAA Division 1 state champion, shot 73 and finished 12th for South Dakota State at 5-over 149. Appleton native Mikaya Smith, a senior at Xavier (Ohio), shot 81 and finished tied for 24th at 10-over 154. Middleton native Alexis Thomas, a sophomore at NDSU, shot 80 and finished tied for 35th at 13-over 157. Waterford native Taitum Beck, a sophomore at Weber State, shot 77 and finished tied for 48th at 16-over 160. North Dakota State's Katelyn Martin, a junior from North Prairie, shot 77 and finished tied for 73rd at 22-over 166

"I got to play with Mikayla Smith the first day, which was awesome," McCorkle wrote. "It's always fun playing with her. (All) of those girls are great players so it was nice to all compete at the same tournament."


Team/Player Leaderboard
Sunbrook Golf Course - 2019 SUU W. Golf Tournament Par: 72 Yardage: 5914
St. George, UT US
Mar 14-15, 2019
Click on the round header, (Rd 1, Rd 2, etc), to view previous round data
Pos. Team/Player (seed) Rd 1 Rd 2 Total
1 California Baptist 292 297 589
T4 Jocelyn Chee Yi Min (4) 72 74 146
T4 Samantha Martirez (5) 71 75 146
T10 Erica Wang (2) 75 73 148
T13 Kristyna Abrahamova (3) 74 76 150
15 Yifei Wang (1) 76 75 151
2 Southern Utah 297 301 598
2 Chanikan (Pluem) Yongyuan (1) 71 72 143
T7 Kyla Smith (3) 72 75 147
T16 Kamonwan (Poy) Prasurtwong (2) 77 75 152
T32 Launa Wilson (4) 77 79 156
T48 Tori Thomas (5) 78 82 160
3 South Dakota State 304 296 600
3 Sydney Bormann (3) 73 72 145
T10 Teresa Toscano (1) 78 70 148
12 Mia Seeman (2) 76 73 149
T40 Cassidy Laidlaw (5) 77 82 159
T71 Lani Potter (4) 84 81 165
4 Xavier 295 306 601
T13 Lyndsey Hunnell (3) 74 76 150
T16 Ke'Asha Phillips (5) 75 77 152
T22 Mikayla Fitzpatrick (1) 73 80 153
T24 Mikayla Smith (2) 73 81 154
T27 Andie Shukow (4) 82 73 155
5 Oral Roberts 298 304 602
T4 Sarah Bell (1) 70 76 146
T7 Isabella Caamal (3) 74 73 147
T22 Beatriz Garcia (2) 80 73 153
T35 Megan Lee (4) 75 82 157
T65 Rachel Dupree (5) 79 85 164
6 North Dakota State 308 299 607
1 Taylor McCorkle (2) 76 65 141
T27 Camryn Roadley (5) 77 78 155
T32 Emma Groom (1) 78 78 156
T35 Alexis Thomas (4) 77 80 157
T40 Sierra Bennion (3) 81 78 159
7 Weber State 310 314 624
T27 Gabby DeNunzio (1) 77 78 155
T27 Kameryn Basye (3) 78 77 155
T35 Morgan Bentley (4) 77 80 157
T40 Kirsten Convoy (2) 80 79 159
T40 Lydia Austin (5) 78 81 159
T8 Eastern Washington 315 310 625
T16 Alexa Clark (1) 76 76 152
T27 Madalyn Ardueser (2) 77 78 155
T40 Jaelin Ishikawa (4) 82 77 159
T40 Megan Ohland (5) 80 79 159
T71 Kirsten Ishikawa (3) 83 82 165
T8 Fairleigh Dickinson 320 305 625
T16 Nicola Smith (1) 77 75 152
T24 Caterina Tatti (3) 77 77 154
T40 Tomita Arejola (2) 83 76 159
T48 Julia Warke (4) 83 77 160
10 Montana 325 310 635
T24 Baylee Barckley (1) 79 75 154
T56 Kylie Esh (2) 81 80 161
T60 Brooklyn VanBebber (3) 80 82 162
T62 Allison Sobol (4) 85 78 163
T65 Teigan Avery (5) 87 77 164
11 Lehigh University 313 325 638
T16 Reagan Jahn (1) 76 76 152
T48 Aileen Jeong (2) 79 81 160
T62 Angela Ding (5) 82 81 163
T65 Minuette Laessig (3) 77 87 164
T75 Rebecca Markunas (4) 81 87 168
12 North Dakota 325 317 642
T16 Jenna Janu (1) 79 73 152
T40 Ashlyn Guggisberg (2) 82 77 159
T65 Hanna Peterson (4) 81 83 164
T75 Ally Rogers (5) 83 85 168
T77 Abby Schramel (3) 85 84 169
13 CSU - Bakersfield 327 326 653
T56 Macey Mills (2) 79 82 161
T60 Vanessa Watkins (1) 79 83 162
T65 Jenni Chun (3) 83 81 164
T73 Brandi Borjon (5) 86 80 166
82 Sara Scheidt (4) 90 90 180
14 Idaho State Univ. 330 327 657
T32 Tyler Erickson (1) 75 81 156
T56 Abby Kadrmas (3) 80 81 161
T77 Tya Seth (2) 89 80 169
80 Brooke Williams (4) 86 85 171
83 Lexi Rowe (5) 91 94 185
 
Individuals
Pos. Player (Team) Rd 1 Rd 2 Total
T7 Morgan Tinsley (Xavier ) 75 72 147
T35 Ashley Ohland (Eastern Washington) 83 74 157
39 Amy Kucera (Xavier ) 73 85 158
T48 Taitum Beck (Weber State ) 83 77 160
T48 Lindsay Aleman (Southern Utah ) 82 78 160
T48 Lexi Geolat (North Dakota State) 82 78 160
T48 Abby Kiefer (Xavier ) 79 81 160
T48 Maddie Herzog (North Dakota State) 83 77 160
T56 Molly Holbert (Weber State ) 80 81 161
T62 Kayla Benge (Xavier ) 82 81 163
T65 Lexi Hamel (Southern Utah ) 84 80 164
T73 Katelyn Martin (North Dakota State) 89 77 166
T77 Emma Johnson (Weber State ) 85 84 169
81 Sydney Wirebaugh (South Dakota State ) 84 91 175
84 Alexis Carras (Lehigh University) 91 100 191

rob@killarneygolfmedia.com

Rob started covering the Wisconsin golf scene in 1987 at the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison & has been the only reporter covering all levels of state golf. He joined Killarney Golf Media in Sept. 2015 & helped launch Wisconsin.Golf in Jan. 2016.