Play has concluded and the cut has been made at the Black Desert Resort Championship. After 36 holes of play, the cut has settled at 2-under with 72 players making it to Saturday at Soldier Hollow Golf Club. Low scores were still abundant in the second round, with a few new faces making their way to the top. While round one was dominated by the rookies, round two belonged to the veterans and past champions of the Epson Tour.
Jenny Coleman is looking to take home her second victory of the year after posting the round of the tournament thus far. The bogey-free, 9-under 63 moved Coleman to 13-under for the tournament and into a tie for the lead. The 31-year-old started her round off quickly, making six birdies in the first seven holes, and then carded three birdies on her last three holes to make it a career-low round. Coleman has played some of the best golf of her season in Utah, finishing runner-up at the Copper Rock Invitational in Hurricane, Utah earlier this year. The California native feels confident at Soldier Hollow and her game is backing it up as evidenced by Coleman only recording one bogey in the 36 holes she has played thus far.
“You have to be open to anything and everything with this type of course,” said Coleman. “It is a very different layout. You feel like you have to make some birdies on the par 5s but the par 3s you have to grind out and remember par is a good score on those holes. I am just going to stick to what I am doing because it is working and just play as confidently and as smart as possible tomorrow.”
With a victory tomorrow, Coleman has a chance to become the second player of the year to clinch their LPGA Tour card for 2024. The thought crossed her mind due to the Black Desert Resort Championship boasting the biggest purse in Epson Tour history, but she knows she just has to take it a shot at a time.
“You try to treat every week the same, but it slips in your mind a little bit that this is the biggest purse of the season,” said Coleman. “It can have a big impact on the money list, but you just have to do your best to block it out. Just have to take it one shot at a time and do your thing.”
Yiyi Liu put together a bogey-free round of her own to match Coleman at 13-under. Liu dropped five birdie putts and an eagle putt on her way to a 7-under 65. The People’s Republic of China native has two top-10 finishes in 2023 but has stalled as of late, missing the cut in her last four starts. Liu still sits at No. 53 in the Race for the Card despite not playing her best recently and a win would move her right into contention for her LPGA Tour card with four events to play.
“My round today was awesome,” said Liu. “I made an eagle on No. 16 and a lot of putts throughout my round. It made me really happy to play well because I haven’t made a cut in like four events, so it was a nice change. I am playing golf that is stress-free with no pressure. I am enjoying this tournament.”
Alena Sharp will try to track down the two leaders when she tees off in the final round. The Canadian signed for a 6-under 66 and will be two shots back of Coleman and Liu. Sharp was able to take advantage of her morning round and the calm conditions, putting herself into contention at the biggest tournament of the year. Sitting at 11-under, the 42-year-old knows she has to go low to keep up with Liu and Coleman, who between the two, have not carded a 69 or higher all week.
“You have to take advantage of the morning rounds when you know the winds are going to pick up in the afternoon and I was able to do that,” said Sharp. “I hit a lot of par 5s in two and just two putted for birdie. I actually made an eagle on No. 2, I hit it to about 14 feet and made the putt. I played steady, wish it would have been lower, but I am very happy with how I hit the ball and putted. I put myself into contention and that was my main goal coming into today."
A group of four players sit at 10-under for the tournament and in a tie for seventh, rounding out the top of the leaderboard at the Black Desert Resort Championship.