After 36 holes at Battle Creek Country Club, three players share first place. Xiaowen Yin held her spot at the top, while Rachel Rohanna and Gina Kim made moves to join her.
Yin went bogey-free on the front nine, carding six birdies and a lone bogey on the day. She says she played her own game and focused on what matters most to her – gaining experience on a tour that pushes her to succeed.
“For me, this year, I was trying to learn and get more experience from this tour,” said Yin. “This tour compared to the China tour is a lot different. The [Epson Tour] players are from all around the world.”
Although this is the first time she’s held and kept the lead, Yin’s plan for tomorrow is to just do what she’s been doing.
“Tomorrow’s the same,” said Yin. “No pressure, I’m here to learn. I won’t think too much and just play.”
Rohanna, who climbed from T22 to T1, shot the lowest round of the day at 7-under. She says her mentality this week may be a little different than the rest of field’s – focusing less on the points and standings, and more about making money to feed the family.
“It feels great,” said Rohanna. “I haven’t shot 7-under in a while. I’ve been hitting the ball pretty well lately and making some putts. My putters been super-hot this week.”
Rohanna only recorded 27 putts, which helped her go bogey-free on the day. She carded seven birdies, four of which closed out her front nine and opened her back. The remaining three also happened consecutively on Nos. 16, 17 and 18.
“I don’t know the last time I had a bogey-free round,” said Rohanna. “So that’s pretty cool, too. It’s been a good week so far, so hopefully one more magical day.”
Rounding out the final group is Gina Kim. Kim has spent time near the top of the leaderboard all week, but moved up two spots, from T3 to T1 during the second round. She went bogey-free, carding five birdies on the day.
“I thought today was a really stable, consistent round,” said Kim. “I didn’t really make any mistakes out there, so it was nice to come out with a bogey free round. I just stayed patient like I did yesterday, and the birdies were coming out.”
This is not the first time Kim has held a lead heading into the final round. In fact, the last time she held the lead after 36-holes, she won the Inova Mission Inn Resort and Club Championship.
“I know what it takes to win tomorrow,” said Kim. “But I’m not going to push too much, I’m not going to stress about it. Maybe I can walk out with a trophy, but if not, just getting confirmation that my game’s in the right place is good enough for me.”
Louise Ridderstrom follows right behind the trio in fourth place at 8-under. The Swede went bogey-free and recorded six birdies on the day.
Weiwei Zhang, Maddie Szeryk and Grace Kim round out the top 5, sharing fifth place, two strokes back from the lead. A total of 72 players made the cut at even-par.
Louise Ridderstrom (-7,4th) on heading into the final round in fourth place:
“The one tournament I won four years ago, I told myself that winning takes a lot of skills, however you need a little bit of luck out there. If it’s my turn, it’s my turn. I’m just going to continue doing what I did today and hit every shot to the best of my abilities.”
Selena Costabile (-6, T8) on a bogey-free round:
“I honestly didn’t even think about it up until 18. I was just so focused and trying to hit good shots out there. It’s nice, and I’m happy it ended up that way.”
Daniela Iacobelli (-3, T24) on making the cut:
“It’s just another day of golf. I love this place, I love Kathy George, I love all the staff at the club. It’s just so fun, it’s one of my favorite spots. I’m just glad I get to see Sunday and go play again and maybe clean up some of the mistakes I’ve had the last two days.”