by Ronan MacNamara
Julie McCarthy by Golffile
Julie McCarthy is in a share of second place at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge in California as Rachel Kuehn of Wake Forest opened up a six-shot gap at the summit.
The Forrest Little golfer teed off just a shot adrift of Kuehn but a nightmarish front nine put her on the back foot but she can take great heart from a superb back nine even if she trails Kuehn by six shots.
McCarthy turned in 39 after four bogeys in her opening six holes. Dropped shots at the first, fourth, fifth and sixth sent her tumbling down the leaderboard before she rallied on her way to the clubhouse.
Birdies at 12 and 14 steadied the ship before a superb eagle at the par-5 16th saw her climb into solo second before a fifth bogey of the day on 17 saw her fall into a share of second.
The Auburn golfer eventually signed for a one-over 72 and a two-under total, six shots behind Kuehn heading into the final round.
Lauren Walsh is the next best of the Irish on four-over after a one-over 72.
After opening with a birdie the Castlewarden native went on a disastrous run of four bogeys in five holes to turn in 38.
She recovered most of the damage with two birdies in her final three holes to come home in 34 for a share of 25th place.
Anna Foster of Auburn struggled to a four-over 75 to finish on six-over for a share of 38th place.
In an erratic round, Foster carded a quadruple-bogey 8 on the third and an eagle two on the 14th.