After making the cut on the mark, Stephanie Meadow carded another sub-par round to climb the board on Saturday at the LPGA Drive On Championship.
The round leaves the Jordanstown professional in a tie for 44th where she will no doubt be looking to climb further up the board on Sunday in a bid to improve her overall Race to CME Globe season ranking where she is currently 61st.
Leona Maguire failed to make a moving day push as she carded a mixed bag 73 that included four birdies, three bogeys and a double.
When the dust settled on Saturday it was Ally McDonald who came out with the lead after a third-round 69 to finish up at -13. Playing alongside 2020 Tour rookie Bianca Pagdanganan and five-time Tour winner Danielle Kang, McDonald traded the lead with both players after bogeying her opening hole. After birdies at Nos. 5 and 8, she regained the lead with another birdie at No. 9 and would keep it the rest of the round.
“Missed it a little right of the pin,” said McDonald of her approach on No. 9. “But that’s exactly why I have the strategy that I do, because I’m not going to hit it exactly where I want to every single time. I was looking a little left and a little past the pin and I hit it a little short and a little right, and just so happened it was four feet right of the hole; was able to roll that in.”
Despite a bogey on No. 17, two birdies on the card were enough for the 54-hole lead, which McDonald holds for the first time in her career. “I played some really solid golf after I kind of settled in. Made a few bad swings towards the end of the round, but I’m not going to discredit how I really did settle in and played solid golf for most of my holes,” said McDonald, who turns 28 tomorrow. “So I’m excited with the position I’m in. Mentally I think I handled myself really well. Ready to take on tomorrow.”
Though McDonald has been on the LPGA Tour for five years, Sunday would be her first Tour victory. For that reason alone, the newly-wedded golfer would have any right to be nervous. Instead, she’s choosing to trust—the process, her hard work, her fans’ support, and most importantly, her faith.
“I’m definitely in a more comfortable position knowing that what I have and me is enough. I don’t have to push and be more than I am. It’s just kind of going and trusting what I know I can do. Trying to tee it up with the best players in the world and try to play my best. That’s it,” said McDonald of how she has managed to stay as composed as she has the last few days.
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