Olivia Mehaffey’s hopes of making the LPGA Tour next season are hanging by a thread as she struggled for a second consecutive day at the Second Stage of Q-School in Venice, Florida.
The 24-year-old needs to finish in the top-45 and ties in order to reach next month’s Final Stage, however a two-over 74 in her second round which follows a dismal eight-over 80 in her opening round has her fighting against all the odds to make it through. Down in 161st at 10-over and ten shots off the cut mark, it would need a monumental weekend for the Tandragee woman to make it through to the Final Stage, and she will likely have to produce her finest golf of the year if she wants to progress.
Things had looked promising for Mehaffey early on in her second round at the Bobcat Course at The Plantation Golf and Country Club as she picked up quick birdies at the second and fourth to move under-par for the day. But, after a bogey at the seventh, the wheels began to come off after the turn. Four dropped shots in six holes saw her slip to three-over for the day and almost to the bottom of the leaderboard, but she did at least give herself something to cling onto with a closing birdie at the 16th, although she will know she has to be aggressive over the weekend to stand any chance of making the cut.
Mehaffey has played in three LPGA Tour events this year, including finishing in the top-20 at the ISPS HANDA World Invitational on home soil, so she will remain confident she can compete at this level going into the final two rounds. At the top, China’s Ruoning Yin holds a comfortable three-shot lead over Maddi Caldwell-Young, Gabby Lemieux and Pauline Roussin-Bouchard at the halfway stage after her bogey-free seven-under 65 on the Bobcat Course took her up to 10-under-par.
Former World Amateur No.1 Roussin-Bouchard added a two-under 70 to her overnight lead to sit at seven-under, with Mehaffey’s former Arizona State team-mate Linn Grant one shot further back at six-under. US Curtis Cup star Allisen Corpuz is in a tie for 14th at three-under, while her team-mate at Conwy and college stand-out Gina Kim is one shot further back at two-under.
As one of the higher scorers in the field after two rounds, Mehaffey will play the Bobcat Course again in her third round and will then be back at the Panther Course in Sunday’s final round.
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