Stephanie Meadow started day two of the Pelican Women’s Championship on the back nine and said she hit an unfortunate shot on her first hole of the day. “I hit it right at the front of the green and tried to putt down that big slope and I left it on top of the slope, the one thing you don't want to do,” said Meadow. “When I hit it, I didn't think it was that short, so total miss-feel by me. That is a tough hole.”
The University of Alabama alumna rebounded with six birdies over the next 17 holes to finish with a 65 and jump up the leaderboard into a tie for third with major champion Sophia Popov at -6, two back of the lead held by Sei Young Kim.
“My back [second] nine was awesome. Played really solid,” said Meadow. “The front nine I barely hit any greens and made a ton of up and downs. Kept my cool on my front nine, the back nine, and was able to make some birdies coming in, which was nice.”
Meadow said she’s starting to feel more comfortable and confident in her play. Since the LPGA Tour’s restart she has missed two cuts, but has struggled to find the consistency she had to start 2020 when she had her season-best finish at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open (T13). After a tied for 34th result at the LPGA Drive On Championship—Reynolds Lake Oconee, Meadow notices things beginning to turn around in her game.
“I've had a lot of really consistent finishes this year, a lot around T30, and, you know, just haven't gotten everything to click,” said Meadow. “So just kept telling myself at some point you are going to putt well, hit it good and get some good breaks all in the same week, and so far that is what's happening.”
ELIZABETH SZOKOL SETS 36-HOLE CAREER LOW, SITS SOLO FIFTH
University of Virginia alumna Elizabeth Szokol followed up her opening-round 69 with a 4-under par 66 at Pelican Golf Club this afternoon to set a 36-hole career-best of 135. The mark has her in solo fifth at the halfway point of the Pelican Women’s Championship presented by DEX Imaging and Konica Minolta.
“Feels good. I was playing well, so it’s nice to put two good rounds together before the weekend. I am excited for two more days,” Szokol said. “The course is playing tough and pretty windy the last two days. The greens have got a lot firmer and faster as the week goes on, definitely tough. It is nice to hit driver pretty much everywhere and have some shorter clubs in, especially with the greens.”
Szokol moved from Chicago to Tampa in 2019 to allow for year-round practice. She quickly joined Avila Golf and Country Club and was introduced to Justin Sheehan, the Director of Golf at Pelican Golf Club, by her good friend [and Avila member] Brittany Altomare. Sheehan is now the swing coach for Szokol.
“I live just about 40 minutes away, so it has been nice to sleep in my own bed and my mom is here,” said Szokol. “I’ve come here [to Pelican Golf Club] to practice and only played 18 holes once, but have played a few holes here and there. She [Brittany] has been very helpful and kind of helped me get settled here a little over a year ago. She has been a really good friend.”