SANZ BARRIO HOPING FOURTH TIME IS THE CHARM
After 36 holes in the sixth annual IOA Golf Classic at Alaqua Country Club, Marta Sanz Barrio (Madrid, Spain) leads the way by one with an overall score of 11-under par. The Auburn University alumna carded a 4-under 67 this afternoon and will head off No. 1 tee tomorrow at 1:50 p.m. ET in the final pairing.
The performance so far leads to Sanz Barrio’s fourth appearance in a final pairing this year. Her previous opportunities came at the Windsor Golf Classic, IOA Invitational and most recently Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge, where she was also out front going into the final round.
“I wanted to make birdie on No. 9 for sure after No. 8 because it was stupid, didn’t think it through and made a mistake,” said Sanz Barrio, referring to her only blemish on the day of double bogey at the par-4 8th. “I gave myself a chance for tomorrow. I feel that I’m more ready than I’ve ever been and experience will play on my side, or so I hope. I didn’t do well the last few times, but want to get it done.”
POPOV COMPLETES FINAL PAIRING
Trailing the lead by one shot, Sophia Popov (Heidelberg, Germany) completes the final pairing following a 3-under par 68 in the second round. She heads to Sunday in central Florida at 10-under overall.
With seven top-10 results in 11 starts on the Symetra Tour so far this season, Popov is looking to finally seal the deal for her first professional win on the “Road to the LPGA.” The University of Southern California alumna has also competed in eight LPGA Tour events in 2019.
“If I had to guess, it will take more of an effort like the first day,” said Popov, who went 7-under in the first round. “I did see the winds are supposed to pick up a little, so it really depends on the conditions. Everyone is going to be attacking pins and making a lot of putts, can see a lot of low scores again. I think I have to keep making birdies to have a chance. I’m excited to be in position again to maybe grab a win. It’s a good spot to be in, one shot behind.”
PETTERSSON CONTINUES HOT PLAY
Coming off a tied for 16th finish at the Guardian Championship, Lisa Pettersson (Taby, Sweden) picked up right where she left off and is only two shots back of the lead at 9-under par overall.
A graduate of East Carolina University, Pettersson fired a 4-under par 67 today and now has five straight rounds under par. She’ll highlight the penultimate pairing off No. 1 tee at 1:40 p.m. ET tomorrow.
“I started kind of solid just nothing special, but made my approach shot on No. 10 for eagle,” Pettersson said. “It was fun because I also made eagle on No. 9 yesterday. After that, pars and a few birdies the rest of the way so I’m happy. I struggled a lot in the beginning of the year with my irons and I feel like now I’m finally getting the hang of them, can attack more pins. I’ll be a little nervous tomorrow since I have never been in this situation before on the Symetra Tour, but it will be exciting. I don’t have anything to prove, so can play my own game and see where it takes me.”
Karen Chung (-8, T4) on what being in this position means to her:
“Definitely feels nice because I had a mental breakdown in the middle of the season and took 4-5 weeks off with Sioux Falls [GreatLIFE Challenge] my first tournament back. It was a little bit of a slow start, but it is nice to be in fourth going into Sunday. It is going to be a day of full sends tomorrow. I am going to have to make a lot of putts and everyone up there [on the leaderboard] is super good.”
Mind Muangkhumsakul (-8, T4) on her gameplan going into the last 18 holes:
“Tomorrow, I’m hoping for the same. I would like to focus on making birdies and no bogeys. I have to be calm and not put any pressure on myself because I do not play good under pressure. For the final round, I really would just like to do my best and forget about everything else, not think too much.’
Linnea Johansson (-6, T6) on a bogey-free, 7-under par 64 second round to vault into contention:
“I played pretty solid throughout the whole round, gave myself a lot of opportunities to make birdie and happened to drop a few today. I’m going to stay focused and take it one shot at a time, try to hit as good of a shot as I can to make the putts easier. I need to push to keep moving up with many playing very well and you have to post a low score for a chance. Can’t take it for granted and tomorrow is a new day.”
Marta Sanz Barrio
- Sanz Barrio, 27, is from Madrid, Spain
- Three-time All-SEC Second Team selection for Auburn University was also named to the 2011 SEC All-Freshman Team
- Won the 2014 Ingaro Ladies Open on the Ladies European Tour (LET) Access Series
- Finished T43 at the Final Stage of the 2014 LPGA Qualifying Tournament to earn Priority List Category 17 status for the 2015 LPGA Tour season
- Ladies European Tour (LET) member with more than 40 career starts, including a career-best showing of T6 at the 2015 ISPS Handa New Zealand Women’s Open
- Represented native country at the 2018 Mediterranean Games, leading Spain to the team title and capturing individual gold medalist honors
- Total of 34 career starts on the Symetra Tour entering 2019 and became a first-time champion at the 2018 FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship at Battle Creek Country Club
- Really big soccer fan and especially huge supporter of Real Madrid CF