Meadow starts well but closing double a dagger to her Tour Champ hopes

Ronan MacNamara
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Stephanie Meadow (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Stephanie Meadow was left to rue a closing double-bogey despite eventually starting her Pelican Women’s Championship with a three-under 67 which leaves her five adrift of Mexican Maria Fassi. 

Ranked 80th in the Race to CME Globe Rankings, the Jordanstown native was putting together a superb round of five-under but a closing six on 18 saw her drop from five to three-under to leave her in a share of 18th. 

“Yeah, it’s just one loose iron shot at the wrong time and then a really tricky chip shot. My short game has been really good the last few weeks, so I’ll just put down to more bad timing than anything else and just continue on for tomorrow and Sunday.” 

After a strenuous travel period which involved jetting from Arizona to Korea to Japan and to Florida, Meadow feels the tournament being reduced to 54-holes due to weather has played into her hands as she plots a late CME Tour Championship charge. 

“Yeah, I did a whole lot of nothing yesterday. Netflix, and Marina cooked dinner. It was a very chill day. It was nice coming off Japan and Korea, another day of rest. I think it my played into our favour a little bit. 

“Obviously we were lucky enough that it didn’t affect the golf course too much and we were able to play on time today. 

“I mean, it’s definitely playing softer for sure, but I’ve seen it like that in years past, so I kind of knew what to expect. 

“This golf course, if you just miss it in the wrong place it can really penalise you. For the most part, if you hit good shots you’re going to be really rewarded. 

“I really like these greens. I seem to read them well; I have the in past, too. Yeah, it’s a great golf course.” 

Aside from the double on 18, the 30-year-old had compiled together an excellent 17 holes that included birdies on three, six and seven in a front nine of 32 before back-to-back birdies to open her front nine moved her into contention. 

After a couple of lean weeks in Asia, Meadow credited a change in driver shaft as the catalyst for her good start. 

“Yeah, hit my driver a lot better. Changed shafts this week and was able to hit more fairways and hit some really good iron shots and made some putts. 

“And then obviously tough finish on 18 there, but loads more golf left.” 

After securing her full playing rights on the final green at this championship last year, Meadow is in bonus territory that she has no such concerns, knowing a good finish will see her crack the top-60 and make the Tour Championship. 

“Yeah, for sure. I think it’s on all of our minds for the ones not in CME next week. We would all love to be there. It’s going to take a big week for me, but there is a chance, so as long as there is a chance I’m still going to try. 

“So getting in the top 80 itself has its own advantages, so, yeah, we’re here to play and we all want to play next week.” 

Leona Maguire has work to do to make the cut after a one-over 71 to sit in T78 position while Mexico’s Maria Fassi powered her way to the top of the leaderboard as she carded a career low 8-under par ,62 and carries a two shot overnight.

Fassi is currently #72 on the CME Globe rankings and, needing to be top 60 to progress from this week, she’s going about it the right way: “I think every single one of us out here wants to finish the year at CME,” Fassi said. “For me, it was a very tough season at the beginning and kind of got back on my feet towards middle, end of the season. So now that I have a chance, and especially after today’s round, it’s just keep doing what I’ve been doing today.”

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