WAGNER, STAHLE ENTER FINAL ROUND TIED FOR LEAD
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Just as there was two players tied for the lead after the first round of the Four Winds Invitational, such is the story following play on day two at Blackthorn Golf Club, only this timeSamantha Wagner (Windermere, Florida) is joined by Louise Stahle (Lund, Sweden).
They both sit at 10-under par overall and will be joined by Jordan Britt (Chattanooga, Tennessee) in the final pairing tomorrow, who is three shots back at 7-under.
“I’ll keep being aggressive, it’s my gameplan,” said Wagner, who carded five birdies and one bogey for a 4-under par effort today. “If I deviate, that’s when I start to struggle. Keep going after things when I feel comfortable with it and that’s when I’ll play well.”
As for Stahle, she remained consistent, firing a second-straight 5-under par 65 to get her to the double-digit under par mark for the tournament.
“Really hot start with four consecutive birdies. The putter was just really strong today,” Stahle said after finding seven birdies in the second round. “A good course for my eyes and I’m enjoying it. I’m happy to have two really solid rounds and try to make a third good round.”
Meanwhile, Britt finds herself in the final pairing for the first time since the 2015 Garden City Charity Classic. She finished fourth in that event, so is looking to capitalize tomorrow with a better result.
“The opportunity is exciting and knowing what I've been working on in my game has put me into contention is great feedback,” said Britt, who shot 5-under par today. “I think I prefer to chase. I don't know what it's like to be chased on the Symetra Tour just yet, but I hope to find out what that feels like soon. Mentally, I will try to focus on my one shot and not get ahead of myself.”
Also at the 7-under par mark for the 7th annual Four Winds Invitational is Augusta James (Bath, Ontario). She’ll be joined tomorrow in the penultimate group by Panitta Yusabai (Pattaya, Thailand), one of 12 players at 5-under par, and Cheyenne Knight (Aledo, Texas), who is solo fifth at 6-under par in her first career Symetra Tour event following an illustrious career at the University of Alabama.
“I like this golf course, I’ve played well on it before and I’ve played well the last two days,” said James, who went 3-under par today to enter the final round tied for third. “I like courses that are in good shape, honestly that’s my No. 1 thing. Even if the layouts are different or whatever, this course is really in good shape.”
A total of 71 players made the cut of even par to compete on Sunday at Blackthorn Golf Club. Play begins at 9 a.m. tomorrow of No. 1 and No. 10 tees.
ABE NOT BACKING DOWN IN FIRST CAREER SYMETRA TOUR START
Another member of the University of Alabama women’s golf family is turning in a strong showing this week at the Four Winds Invitational, as Lakareber Abe (The Woodlands, Texas) is not letting the nerves take over in her first career Symetra Tour event.
“I’m just trying to handle them. They’re not going away, but they’re getting better,” Abe said.
The Crimson Tide record-holder for low round (63) is tied for 24th at 3-under par overall; pretty impressive for her first tournament as a professional.
“It’s exciting, a little nerve-racking,” said Abe, who shot 1-under par today. “It’s something you dream of since you were a kid, so it’s really fun to have this chance. There were a little bit [of nerves] today because you still have to go out and play a good 18 holes to make the cut.”
She had an impressive list of collegiate accomplishments, including former two-time Second Team All-SEC performer to her name. In addition, Abe was named a Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) Third Team All-American her sophomore year.
One aspect of her amateur career that Abe said truly helped get her to this point is playing for Alabama. Not only did the team prepare her, but the tree of athletes who have gone through the program and now compete professionally that she has at her disposal to learn from.
“Every year we had five or six really good girls, so you’re constantly competing,” Abe said. “You’re lucky enough to have people like Stephanie [Meadow], and Janie [Jackson] and Emma [Talley], who have done it before you. Those people to call, ask for advice and ask for help. It definitely makes a huge difference coming out of there.”
If you’re lucky enough to don the Crimson and White like Abe, the plethora of guidance as she begins her professional career is never-ending.
“These are the girls that I recruited, so it’s cool to see them out here,” said Stephanie Meadow (Jordanstown, Northern Ireland), a 2014 University of Alabama graduate. “No matter what year you’re at, when you graduated, or if you played with them or not, Alabama alums are going to stick together and do what they can.”
Abe tees off No. 1 at 9:11 a.m. tomorrow in the final round and is paired with Muni He (Chengdu, China) and Annabel Dimmock (London, England).
LOUISE STAHLE ROUND TWO INTERVIEW
SAMANTHA WAGNER ROUND TWO INTERVIEW