AUSTIN, Texas —
Actually, Jao-Javanil’s a stroke back of Texas’ Natalie Karcher, who’s put together rounds of 71 and 69 for a 3-under par 140 36-hole total on the 6,370-yard course. Javenil’s at 141 after rounds of 69 and 72. And she did it by hitting what seemed like every fairway and every green, only failing to get putts to drop even as she seemed to burn every lip.
The team — oh, yeah — at 7-over par 583 after rounds of 291 and 292, is three strokes in front of the home-standing Longhorns, who are six strokes in front of Kansas and nine strokes in front of Iowa State.
Jao-Javanil would be tied with Karcher if not for a 3-putt bogey on No. 15. Of course, she came back on No. 17, stuffing her approach about five feet beyond the pin and draining the putt like she knew it was going in. Next, on 18, from almost 40 feet, she rolled a left-to-right breaker down the hill that everybody’s still trying to understand how it didn’t fall in the cup, too.
Beyond the prospect of repeated history, her conference performance is doubly cool when it’s understood that only twice this season has Jao-Javanil even been the low Sooner and, last time out, she went 79-76 before closing with a 72 at the PING/ASU Invitational.
“It’s a lot of things,” she said.
She was a passenger in a car accident that left her not herself physically for an extended period. That then conspired to leave her mentally gun-shy.
“I’ve been tentative,” she says.
Only now the conspiracy is working the other way. She’s recovered physically. Her mental game is back. It’s her last collegiate postseason. Timing demands she bring her best.
Here she is.
“It’s exciting that it’s coming together toward the end of her career,” Sooner coach Veroinique Drouin-Luttrell says. “Hopefully it’s going to continue after she graduates from college and goes on to a pro career.”