DAMBAUGH HAS HOSPITALIZED DAD ON MIND HUNTING FIRST WINKatelyn Dambuagh feels like her breakthrough win is close and she should. Since graduating from South Carolina in May, she has played in seven Symetra Tour events and has three top 10 finishes and six top 20 results. She is in line for another top 10 this week after a 2-under, 69 to get to 6-under on Friday.
“I’ve been hitting it pretty solid the last two days,” said Dambaugh. “Today was more difficult with the weather, it got really windy during the middle and towards the end of the round.”
Dambaugh has finished inside the top ten in each of her last two starts. She heads into the weekend with a lot of confidence.
“I’m hitting it really well right now so I think I should keep playing how I have,’” said Dambaugh. “I have to let the results take care of themselves.”
Dambaugh ranks 29th on the money list and is certainly in range to get into the top 10 by season’s end.
“I’d love to have a win before the end of the year obviously,” said Dambaugh. “I’m really close to breaking through and I think if I keep doing what I’m doing, it’ll be really soon.”
Dambaugh’s dad, Eric, was supposed to be in Sioux Falls this week caddying. Unfortunately, he had quadruple heart bypass surgery on Monday and is still in the hospital.
“I was really nervous this morning because he was supposed to leave the hospital tonight, but now it won’t be until next week,” explained Dambaugh. “My mom called me this morning and one of his lungs is partial collapsed. I’m hoping he recovers soon because he wants to be there for the Symetra Tour Championship.”
SAKAMOTO PLAYING WITH HEAVY HEARTNicole Sakamoto (Honolulu, Hawaii) is playing perhaps the best golf of her career. She followed an opening round 4-under, 67 with a second round 2-under, 69. Both rounds were played in windy conditions.
Sakamoto used the three-week break to refresh. She said she only practiced a few times.
“It’s nice to see my name on the leaderboard coming back from the break,” said Sakamoto. “I’ve been working with my mental coach, Donna White, and she told me that I have to think of every tournament the same. My goal right now is to get ready for Stage II (of LPGA Qualifying Tournament), but I don’t want to think too much ahead.”
Sakamoto ranks No. 127 on the Volvik Race for the Card money list so a spot in the final top 10 will be tough to come by, but she feels her game is coming along.
“My ball striking is the best it has been this year and my putting too,” said Sakamoto. “I’ve also been practicing a lot of chipping so I’m not afraid to miss the green.”
Sakamoto chipped in for birdie on hole 12.
Sakamoto is playing with a heavy heart this week. Three weeks ago while she was in Milwaukee competing at the PHC Classic, she learned that her golf coach of eight years, Lance Suzuki, passed away suddenly from a heart attack. Suzuki is a famous golfer in Hawaii. He won 45 times and is in the local Hall-of-Fame.
“I still get very emotional when it comes to him because he was such a big part of not only golf, but life,” explained Sakamoto, who had a hard time not getting emotional when referring to Suzuki. “I know he is at peace and watching from above.”
During the break, Sakamoto and her boyfriend, Alvin, were able to attend the funeral back home.
NO. 11 WEAVER JUST THREE BACKLindsey Weaver has seven top 10 finishes this season and is less then $2,000 from the top 10, but she doesn’t want to even remotely think about money and results over the final stretch of events.
“I’ve thought about the final six events recently and I just want to stay how I have been all year,” said Weaver. “I don’t want to think about money, I know if I start thinking about money and outcome it is going to be over from there. I’m hitting the ball better than I have all year so I want to continue to give myself good opportunities.”
Weaver posted a 1-under, 70 and is in a tie for sixth. She made a critical 15-foot par save on her final hole.
“So far, so good, there is a lot of golf left to be played,” said Weaver. “There are pretty high stakes this week so you never know who is going to make a move. If I can keep it under-par the next few days, I’ll be in good shape.”