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Bad hole sinks Burger's round at NCAA tournament

Georgia's Emilie Burger competes in the NCAA Championships on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, at the UGA Golf Course.  (Photo by Steven Colquitt)

Georgia's Emilie Burger competes in the NCAA Championships on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, at the UGA Golf Course. (Photo by Steven Colquitt)

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Georgia's Emilie Burger competes in the NCAA Championships on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, at the UGA Golf Course. (Photo by Steven Colquitt)

ATHENS -- By the time Emilie Burger hit the course for her second round Wednesday, she knew low scores were possible at her home course.

In the morning flight, four golfers shot 5-under par at the University of Georgia Golf Course and with the sun shining and no real wind, the course seemed a perfect setup.

Two bad swings on one hole changed that. Burger knocked her ball into the water twice on the par-3 13th taking a 4-over 7 and setting her back before she had a chance to get going.

"I played great after that," said Burger who finished at 8-over and in the top 89 with four groups still on the course after a late rain delay postponed the tournament Wednesday night. "Unfortunately it was an unfortunate round to swallow, but it's another day of golf."

Even before the bad swings on the 13th, the Georgia golfer was 1-over after taking a bogey on her first hole.

Her opening tee shot on No. 10 sailed right, landing under a tree. Her approach just missed, hitting the top of the green and kicked into the right rough and her pitch, again, landed just short of its mark and rolled into a deep gully on the green. She two-putted and fell from 3- to 4-over after just one hole.

"I've had a bunch of good breaks this spring and you are going to have your share of bad breaks and good breaks so they all kind of even out," Burger said of her near misses on her first hole. "I am sure I was due for some bad breaks and now I am due for some good breaks."

Two pars later, Burger found the water and her round took its big hit.

But she rallied on the back nine with a pair of birdies before double-bogeying No. 8 after the two-hour weather delay.

"I finished my back nine pretty well," Burger said of her 1-under final nine. " It was a good finish and I am going to try to keep that momentum going into tomorrow and try to keep the good Mojo going, I guess.

"(The rain delay) really didn't matter, it was so late in the round. Even in those you have to stay focused and focus on what you have to do."

"She hit it great the last 12 holes and she feeds off of ball striking and hopefully that can continue," Georgia coach Josh Brewer said.

Just like her first round, Burger didn't find many friendly putts. She ran plenty near the hole, but they continued to stay up.

"I changed up my putting a little bit today and tried to have a good rhythm and tried to stay patient," Burger said. "I did have a couple of putts drop today. I had two birdies on the front (her back nine). It was a good way to turn things around, I guess, going into tomorrow and going into the last day."

On her back nine, after starting on No. 10, Burger finally started to score. She birdied Nos. 3 and 5 and followed both with pars. It was the first time this tournament the former Mill Creek golfer didn't answer a birdie with a bogey or worse.

"But I finally got into a rhythm and I finally started settling down and finally started playing my game, which I haven't really been able to do that last two days," Burger said. "Hopefully, we can kind of start playing my game tomorrow."

She tees of this morning in her third round, and Brewer said the focus will be on starting strong, something she hasn't done yet this tournament. She's played her first four holes each day a total of 10-over par.

"She has really struggled the first three or four holes both days and not driven it well," Brewer said. "I am going to bring it up, you just have to, and if it's even me trying to be a little more talkative to her in the beginning just try to help her out."