The final round of the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship will be a nail-biter, as four players finished 36 holes in a share of first place. Siyun Liu, Amelia Garvey, Lindsey McCurdy and Min-G Kimsit at the top at seven-under on the tournament.
Liu’s final putt on No. 9 pushed her into contention, and it was a birdie putt she knew she had to make to end up in the final grouping. Unlike many of her competitors, Liu looks at the leaderboard throughout her round, which adds pressure in the moment and relief when she’s successful. Despite knowing her last putt was monumental, Liu was able to close out a bogey-free back nine and watch her name move to the top of the leaderboard.
“It feels really good [to be in contention]. I was hitting it really nice yesterday, too, but I couldn’t make any of the putts,” said Liu. “So, it’s nice to see my putts drop today. I’m feeling pretty good about my game and hope I can bring the good vibe into tomorrow and keep playing well.”
Garvey and McCurdy both jumped from T11 to sharing first after five-under second rounds. Garvey started her day with an eagle on No. 1 and never looked back. The New Zealand native added four birdies and a lone bogey to her scorecard.
“Obviously an eagle on the first hole, you’re never expecting that,” said Garvey. “I wanted to put it behind me though, and not let it affect the rest of my round. I just kept playing solid throughout my whole round and made some good putts coming in.”
McCurdy carded six birdies on the day, four of which were consecutive while making the turn, and a lone bogey. Feeling good about her game, the Texan is ready to keep her foot on the gas for the last 18 holes.
“This course just fits my game really well. The greens are firm, so I have been playing them well with my distance control and just hitting good shots,” said McCurdy. “I am sticking to my gameplan and keeping my foot on the gas because there are a lot of players that can go low out here.”
Kim was the only leader to record a bogey-free round, carding three birdies and signing a 3-under second round. While her scorecard reflects a perfect round, the Republic of Korea native says she was making good up and down to keep herself in contention.
“I think I hit about five trees out there today and was just able to make a lot of up and down putts,” said Kim. “I also did not miss a single short putt today, so that was really helpful.”
Rounding out the top five is Siri Patchana, who signed for a 4-under second round. The Thai carded six birdies and two bogeys. A total of 73 players made the cut at +2, including 2023 champions Savannah Vilaubi (-5), Jenny Coleman (-4), Miranda Wang (-3), Agathe Laisne (-1) and Jiwon Jeon (-1).
Auston Kim (-5, T6) on a 5-under second-round:
"Any course it is important to hit fairways and greens, but especially on this course. You need to be able to hit good tee shots and map your approach. I think I did a really good job at that today and just taking it one shot at a time.”
Sarah Rhee (-4, T9) on making the cut on her birthday:
"It’s just been kind of an awesome day. I woke up, it’s my birthday, with a lot of text messages, letters, video messages, people posting, and even warming up a lot of people stopped and took the time out of their day to say happy birthday and congratulate me. So I’ve just been happy all day, whether I was making doubles on par-3s, bogeys or birdies. I’m just grateful for all the love I’ve been shown today, and there was no way today was going to be a bad day.”
Sophie Hausmann (+1, T44) on her mindset change from the first to second round:
"The first ten holes yesterday were not great, but my caddie and I had a good talk, and since then I have been playing well. Today was fun though; I had my old teammate and a high school friend came up to watch. Sarah White had some people out watching her too, so the whole group was having fun and it was just a good time.”