SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota, September 1, 2017 - Emily Childs (Alameda, Calif.) made six birdies in rainy, cool conditions on Friday at the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge to take the 36-hole lead at 7-under, 135. She posted a 4-under, 67 and will take a one-stroke lead into the weekend. There are four players right on her heels at 6-under, 136 including No. 2 on the Volvik Race for the Card money list Benyapa Niphatsophon (Bangkok, Thailand). Three-time Symetra Tour winner Paola Moreno (Cali, Colombia), Nicole Sakamoto (Honolulu, Hawaii) and rookie Katelyn Dambaugh (North Charleston, S.C.) are also one off the lead.
Elizabeth Nagel (DeWitt, Mich.) and Lindsey Weaver (Bellefontaine, Ohio) are in a tie for sixth at 4-under, 138.
A total of 67 players made the cut at 4-over, 146. The third-round begins at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday and a split-tee format will be used. The lead group of Childs, Dambaugh and Niphatsophon will tee at 9:31 a.m.
Childs, 27, had two chances to add some separation to her lead, but was unable to capitalize on really good iron shots. She had a 15-footer for birdie on her second to last hole and an 8-footer on her last.
“I’ve been really playing consistently and I worked really hard in the offseason,” said Childs, who has a pair of top 10 finishes this year. “I played real well today, especially in the conditions. It got a little bit wet, but it was a lot of fun.”
While she missed a few coming into the clubhouse, Childs said her putter was a key.
“My speed was really good, the putts can get real quick out here,” said Childs. “The downhill faders can be tricky, but my putting was really good.”
Childs said she will likely play five of the six remaining events this season and feels confident that she can win at least one. She currently ranks 35th on the money list and a win this week ($31,500 winner’s payout) could move as high as 12th on the money list.
“I just want to play as well as I can, I would love to win a couple,” said Childs. “I want to stick to the process and play one round at a time.”
Childs admitted some nerves on her final few holes of the day, but expects to have fun this weekend.
“It has been awhile since I’ve been up there so I’m ready to play,” said Childs. “I’m excited to play with some better weather expected over the weekend.”
Childs turned professional in 2014 after a four-year career at the University of California. She got a jolt of confidence in the middle of the year when she qualified and competed in the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open.