Three strokes back of the lead and in solo second following 18 holes at the Symetra Tour Championship, Meghan MacLaren (Wellingborough, England) is right where she wants to be. The 27-year-old fired an 8-under par 64 on the Jones Course of LPGA International, highlighted by eight birdies and an eagle.
“I actually didn’t get off to a very good start,” said MacLaren, who hit 14 greens in regulation and 13 of 14 fairways. “The ‘double’ bonus of the round is to turn it into that from being 1-over through five holes. I feel like I’ve been waiting for this round for quite a long time.”
MacLaren entered the week at No. 19 in the Race for the Card. She needs a win, or outright runner-up result for any chance of moving into the top 10 and earn LPGA Tour membership for the 2022 season.
“This is a great start, but it’s a four-round tournament,” MacLaren said. “There’s a lot of golf to play and other players in a similar position to me. What helps me is where my game has been the last few weeks. I feel ready for a really good week. I’m trying to keep focused on that and do the things I need to put good rounds together.”
In May, MacLaren held the 36-hole advantage at the IOA Golf Classic presented by RP Funding. She shot 2-over in the final round to finish in third. Two starts later, she had a breakthrough performance for her maiden Symetra Tour win at the Prasco Charity Championship.
Those moments tested MacLaren and helped her develop a trust in herself for the future and especially the moment she now finds herself in where her LPGA destiny is in her hands.
“I’ve had both ends of the spectrum this year. Been in contention and didn’t get it done. And got over the line,” said MacLaren. “I’m used to what that feels like, but until you’re out there, so many things can happen. I trust myself, at the end of the day.”