IOA Championship presented by Morongo Casino Resort & Spa defending champion Sophie Hausmann is one of five players tied for the lead of 8-under par through two rounds in Beaumont. The 24-year-old German was one of seven players to shoot 67, the low score of the second round, Saturday on Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon.
“I know I can play this course well under pressure and that’s a great thing to have in my pocket,” said Hausmann, who entered the final round in 2021 with a one-shot advantage. “Last year, I remember a few of the par 4s playing into the wind, which hasn’t been the case so far this week. It’s still a tough golf course but girls are taking advantage of their opportunities out there and it shows on the leaderboard.”
Fellow 36-hole co-leader Dani Holmqvist matched Hausmann’s bogey-free 67 effort. The Swede is doing it all without a 7-iron in the bag.
“I expected to get into [the JTBC Classic in] Carlsbad this week, so I came here without a practice round and a 7-iron,” Holmqvist said laughingly. “Somehow, it got left behind in Carlsbad after testing [clubs]. I just need to stick to my game and play the way I have been, let things fall where they may.”
Roberta Liti (68) completes the final grouping off No. 1 tee at 10:01 a.m. PT. The Arizona State University alumna recorded a bogey-free, 5-under 31 on the opening nine in each of her first two rounds and thinks it will take another hot start to secure her first Epson Tour win.
“To get a good game going, it would give me confidence,” Liti said. “The first two days, there are so many things in play. The last day when you’re in contention is fun. Everybody wants to win, but it will be fun to give it a shot and see what happens.”
Rounding out the group of five at 8-under is Nishtha Madan (69) and Dorsey Addicks (71).
“Starting the day, I wasn’t expecting to be tied for the lead [by the end of the round],” said Madan. “I took whatever happened yesterday into today. Keep it simple, hit fairways and greens and hopefully a few putts fall. Just very mundane, boring golf was kind of how I was thinking about it today.”
A day after claiming her first overnight lead in an Epson Tour event, Addicks now has the taste of being in contention. She’ll use that to calm any nerves that come with the latest first of sharing the lead entering a final round.
“I slept on the lead once, so that means I can actually sleep tonight,” said the fifth-year pro. “I had a lot of good looks for birdie, but just couldn’t convert on the front. That putt at No. 3 for par from nine feet really settled me down. I’m proud of the way I played, saving a couple shots. It’s a great opportunity.”
Milagros Chaves recorded a hole-in-one at the par-3 2nd to propel her to a second-round 69. She sits one shot back at 7-under overall and will join Madan and Addicks in the penultimate grouping off No. 1 tee at 9:50 a.m. local time. Four players are tied for seventh at -6 including California native Lucy Li (68).