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Alexandra Kaui leads NCAA Women's Golf Championship, helps Sooners top team standings

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TULSA, Okla. - Oklahoma freshman Alexandra Kaui holed a wedge from 118 yards for an eagle on the par-4 15th and finished with a 3-under 67 on Wednesday to take the lead in the NCAA Women's Golf Championship and help the Sooners maintain a three-stroke advantage in the team standings.

Kaui, from Honolulu, had a 5-under 135 total at Tulsa Country Club for a three-stroke lead over Michigan State's Allyssa Ferrell and Stanford's Lauren Kim.

"The front nine was pretty slow. But once I dunked one from 118 yards, I said, 'Oh my gosh,'" Kaui said. "Suddenly I'm 2 under and wanted to finish really strong."

She did that with a birdie on the 160-yard 17th hole and a par on the par-4 18th.

Emily Collins added a 71 for Oklahoma, Anne Tanquay shot 74, 2012 champion Chirapat Jao-Javanil had a 75, and Kaitlyn Rohrback a 78. Only the top four scores count in the team total each day in the 72-hole event.

The wind gusted to 26 mph from the south, a little calmer than the opening day.

"Even though it was still pretty windy, it felt like nothing to us compared to all the times we've practiced with winds gusting up to 40 mph, Kaui said. "I think it really helps prepare us."

Ferrell holed a 75-foot birdie putt on her final hole for a 69, and Kim shot 71.

Big 12 champion Oklahoma had a 7-over 287 total in the second round to reach 15-over 575.

Duke was second after a 5-under 285. Celine Boutier led the Blue Devils with a 70, Celine Boutier shot 70, Sandy Choi 71, Laetitia Beck and Alejandro Cangrejo 72.

"We were very patient," Duke coach Dan Brooks said. "I was proud of my team. They handled things really well. It was gustier today, so you had to do more thinking on your par-3 shots."

Arizona State was third at 20 over, followed by defending champion Southern California, UCLA and Arizona at 24 over, and Pac-12 champion Stanford at 26 over.

Arizona State matched the Sooners with a 7-over 287. The Sun Devils, coached by former Tulsa All-American and coach Melissa Luellen, are seeking their first victory of the year.

"We're playing well enough to win," Luellen said. "But there are a lot of good teams here. We all know how good USC is. But they don't win every time. It's going to be an interesting next 36 holes."

Top-ranked Southern California had an 11-over 291.

"I'm sure they are plenty disappointed in the way they have played," Trojans coach Andrea Gaston said. "Obviously, I think we should be expecting more with all of our players. We probably are feeling a little more pressure because we are defending champions and they know how well they played last year. But you can't really think about last year, you have to live in the moment. Sometimes a round like today may be just what they need to step it up tomorrow."

Ferrell helped Michigan State shoot the day's low team round, a 3-over 283 that moved the Spartans from a tie for 16th to a tie for ninth at 28 over.

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