Finding her way into the mix after carding seven birdies in the second round Samantha Wagner (Windermere, Florida) moves herself three-strokes back from the lead at 5-under par. Consistently finding success at Blackthorn Golf, she has made the cut for the third year in a row at the Four Winds Invitational with previous results of tied for 4 and 12.
"I kind of didn't realize how many birdies I was having. I just kept putting myself on the green and making putts and then going to the next hole," said Wagner. "It started getting really windy, and I just want to stay patient, so I didn't think about it too much."
Wagner missed the first cut of the season at the Florida's Natural Charity Classic before the Tour took a break due to COVID-19. After her hard work put into the winter off-season and seeing week one, Wagner was pleased to have more time to improve her game.
"I had a huge swing change right before the season started. So when Winter Haven came around, I didn't feel completely ready. The break gave me a little more time, and I came out here really patient, and that's been a huge thing," said Wagner. "But I think my swings just been so much more consistent, so I've been able to rely on that a lot more."
ROOKIE NAVEED IS BACK IN THE STATES
Making her second cut on the Symetra Tour, Hira Naveed (Perth, Australia) sees her name tied for third on the leaderboard heading into the final round at 5-under par overall.
"It has been kind of an odd rookie season. The whole year has been weird. I was in Australia for eight months, and I just made it back in time for Arizona," said Naveed. "I worked a lot on my wedge game in Australia. It was pretty off coming from last year, so we focused on working on more short game."
As an amateur in college, she competed in the 2019 Arnold Palmer Cup, leading the international team to a victory and tied for eighth at the 2017 Canadian Women's Amateur Championship. While tournament play has been scarce for Naveed in her first year as a professional, she has taken notes on what it will take to succeed.
"I think all the players are pretty similar when it comes to a long game, but it's really who can you know putt it in the hole at the end of the day. I just have to go out there and play my game," said Naveed. "I think I'm hitting it pretty solid and putting well on the greens. The course is in great condition here; it is really one of the best courses of playing on in a long time."
Lauren Coughlin (-7, 2) on her chemistry with her caddy John Sudduth:
"I have a great caddy. He keeps it super light out there for me, which helps. We talk about sports and TV shows and pretty much anything but golf until we have to. We had a lot of really good numbers we're on the same page all the time, so whether it's off the tee and with my irons on the green like we're always on the same page. I always feel very confident in everything I do because I know we are in sync."
Robyn Choi (-5, T3) on managing the Midwest winds:
"I feel like the biggest thing was trying to adjust the greens because the greens are pretty fast. I like playing down winds; it is just hard to calculate how much you will run out. Sometimes I have to grab like an extra two clubs."
Bailey Tardy (-2, T6) on how the course has played over the weekend:
"The course played pretty similar to yesterday. Greens were a little softer with the morning tee time but definitely firmed up by the end of the day. There were a lot of shadows on the greens this morning, which made it hard to read breaks, and then the wind started to pick up around 10 this morning. Overall pretty happy with the way I'm hitting it. Hopefully, can roll a couple more in tomorrow."