CARBONDALE, Ill. --- Natalie Spicer charged up the leader board after the first round of the Saluki Invitational with a 4-over, 76, during the afternoon session. Spicer jumped from 27th in a field of 75 golfers to 12th after the second of three rounds at the Hickory Ridge Golf Course.
Spicer (82-76=158) hit 25 of 28 fairways on the day, including all 14 during the second round. The senior ended the day with 21 pars, two birdies and four up-and-downs.
With seven holes to play, Spicer sat 15-over, 5-over for the round, and rallied with back-to-back birdies. On the par-4, 6th, Spicer hit an 8-iron to 12 feet from 130 yards out. She sank the 12-footer for the first of her two birdies. The Springfield, Tenn. native sank a six foot putt on the par-5, 6th, after hitting a sand wedge from 75 yards out to six feet of the flag.
Spicer will head into the final round three strokes out of the top 10 and is 14 strokes behind individual leader, Brooke Cusamano of Southern Illinois.
Savannah Szozda (87-80=167), Morgan Rood (87-83=170) and Paige Harlin (89-90=179) all posted scoring rounds with Spicer for the Tigers in the morning session, while Haleigh Riley joined Szozda, Rood and Spicer in the afternoon.
Riley (100-83=183) shot 28-over in the opening round before coming back and carding a career low, by seven strokes, in round two. The freshman recorded a birdie on the par-3, 4th, and just missed a second at the par-4, 12th, as her third shot from 74-yards out just missed hitting the hole, setting up a tap in for par.
The Tigers will conclude play at the Saluki invitational, weather permitting, with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m.