Four-under-par (68) scores from both Whaley and first-year Ava Bergner, the best scores of the round, pushed the team to the top of the leaderboard at 11-over-par with one round left.
“To play like they did in the afternoon was very impressive,” coach Jan Mann told GoHeels.com, “because the wind picked up tremendously.”
The windy conditions continued to be a problem for all teams in the third round, when all but two teams shot their worst round of the weekend. The Tar Heels consistency fell off as well, shooting 22-over for the round. The team's best score of the round coming from Bryana Nguyen at four-over-par.
In the end, UNC dropped from the top down to third at 33-over, behind only Wake Forest and Furman — now wracking up the most top five finishes since 2011-2012.
Who stood out?
Whaley finished in a tie for fifth overall, shooting four-over-par on the weekend. She shot an exceptional two-under-par in the second round, rallying her team to the lead after the first day. Although the team wasn't able to hold onto the position, her score in that round helped them stay at the top through both days.
“There is a calm about her on the golf course now that is really good to see,” Mann told GoHeels.com. “In the second round, she really got into her comfort zone and just went about her business.”
Bergner also played a crucial role in the Tar Heel’s comeback, shooting 2 under in the second round and 14-over across three rounds.
When was it decided?
Scores across the board for most teams were worse on the third day due to inclement weather, but the Tar Heels especially lost their footing, losing first to Wake Forest, then Furman and finally settling in along with Auburn. North Carolina was unable to maintain their exceptional shooting from the second round, and dropped two spots as a consequence.
Why does it matter?
This was the last regular-season tournament as the Tar Heels, sixth in the ACC, look ahead to the ACC Tournament on April 21st. With a strong showing among top ranked opponents this weekend, North Carolina hopes to keep consistency into postseason play.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels will head to Greensboro on April 21 and April 22 to compete in the ACC Tournament.
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