After 36-holes at Ol’ Colony Golf Club, Bailey Tardy sits atop the leaderboard at the Tuscaloosa Toyota Classic. For the second week in a row, Tardy will be in the final group on Sunday.
“I’m enjoying the moment,” said Tardy. “I said this last week, but it’s good nerves. You want to be in the final group on Sunday, so I’m taking that in and enjoying it. It’s just golf at the end of the day.”
The Georgia native went 7-under during her second round, bringing her to 15-under on the tournament. She sits five strokes ahead of the rest of the field after carding eight birdies on the day, seven of which were on the front nine and five of which were consecutive.
“I wasn’t really counting them,” said Tardy. “I actually didn’t know I had five until I walked into the scoring tent. I almost made a hole-in-one on No. 8 and had a two putt birdie on No. 6, so it just kind of fell into place pretty easily.”
Having been in contention before, Tardy knows what she needs to do to prepare for Sunday’s final round. Instead of change things up, she’ll continue to do what she’s doing and hope it’s her time.
“I’ve been in this position before,” said Tardy. “I’m ready to win and hopefully put myself in a pretty good position for tomorrow. I’m going to stay patient and take one shot at a time.”
In second place at 10-under was Linnea Ström. The Swede shot 5-under on the day, carding seven birdies and two bogeys. Although she’s already clinched her LPGA Tour card for the 2023 season, Ström keeps her foot on the gas and eyes on the prize – winning another tournament.
“I still have stuff that I need to work on on the golf course, so it’s a perfect opportunity for me to do that these last two weeks,” said Ström. “I know that I have my card, but at the same time I have goals that I want to reach. I try to set up those, and it would be so much fun to win another tournament.”
Just one-stroke behind Ström in third place at 9-under was Hyo Joon Jang. Jang shared the low round of the day with Tardy, 7-under par. The Korean started and ended her round with a bogey but made nine birdies in between.
“I started with a bogey, so I was trying to put less pressure on myself [throughout the round],” said Jang. “I tried to enjoy it and focus on myself. It gave me a lot of confidence.”
Rounding out the top five, tied for fourth at 8-under, were Kristin Coleman and Laura Wearn. Coleman carded five birdies on the day, while Wearn carded two.
“It was a pretty steady round,” said Coleman. “I hit my driver alright and my irons alright, but I had a few iron shots that were pretty close, so that helped out. I scrambled and chipped really well, so that took some pressure off.”
“On the front nine, I made a few good four-footers for par,” said Wearn. “That kind of kept me going. On the back, I had some chances but felt like I gave a lot of shots away. It was nice to have some good birdie chances on No. 17 and 18 and end on at least a somewhat positive note. Hopefully I saved them all for tomorrow.”
A total of 64 players made the cut at 1-over, including University of Alabama alumnus Lakareber Abe (-3), Jiwon Jeon (-1), Kenzie Wright (E), Polly Mack (+1).
Roberta Liti (-5, T9) on a 6-under second round:
“It felt good. The wind was picking up and I finished on No. 9, which is arguably the hardest hole on the course into the wind. To hit it onto the green and give it a chance for birdie was good. It was a fun round, I stayed patient and played one shot at a time.”
Becca Huffer (-2, T34) on her lone eagle on No. 3:
“It was great to start off that way. I hit a good drive, then hit my three wood to about five or six feet and made the putt. It was great and kind of my only thing today. Hopefully there will be more of it tomorrow.”