Stephanie Meadow ground out a one-over par round of 72 to make the cut on the number as Nasa Hataoka and Mijee Lee moved to 12-under par to lead ahead of the final round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.
Jordanstown professional Meadow traded two birdies and three bogeys in a round that saw her find 14 of 18 greens in regulation but worryingly need 34 putts. After signing for a 69 on the opening day, Meadow struggled with the flat-stick on Saturday but managed to get to the clubhouse at one-under par, just enough to ensure she’d get her hands on a Sunday pay cheque in Arkansas.
That leaves Meadow 11 shots back of Hataoka and Lee with the former recording a remarkable hole-in-one for the second straight day, shooting 65 to moev alongside the Australian at 12-under.
The 22-year-old Hataoka, whose first of four LPGA Tour victories came at this event in 2018, used a 5-iron to ace the 180-yard, par-3 sixth hole at Pinnacle Country Club. Lee, who won the Evian Championship in July, fired an 8-under 63 in the second round and moved into a tie with Hataoka at 12 under.
Hataoka aced the 135-yard 11th hole in Friday’s first round. She is the fifth player in LPGA Tour history to record multiple aces in the same event. The two aces will result in donations of $20,000 each to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
“It’s obviously something that’s not able to be done easily, so I really, really feel proud of it,” said Hataoka, who made five birdies with one bogey.
Hataoka stared in disbelief as her second ace disappeared into the cup.
“When I hit the ball, it felt really good,” she said. “It went the way it was supposed to go. Though I never suspect it would be a hole-in-one; it was amazing. I’m happy that I got the hole-in-ones, but I really, really happy to be able to help the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.”
Lee birdied seven of the first 10 holes in racing up the leaderboard.
“The golf course is very scorable,” Lee said. “It’s maybe a little softer than in other years we’ve played it. I was seeing really good lines and stroking it nice and it was good to see it go in.”
- Full scoring HERE
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