When Albane Valenzuela reached out to her best friend and former college teammate Emily Wang last month about being her caddie at the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship, Wang texted back within minutes: “Done deal!”
Tomorrow, the Cardinal alumnae will work toward another done deal of finding the winner’s circle for the first time in Valenzuela’s young career. The 2020/21 LPGA Tour rookie enters the final round three shots back of the lead at 6-under par overall following a 4-under 68 in the third round.
“Played some good golf out there. Really gave myself a lot of birdie opportunities and had six birdies today, which is really good, especially when the fog started to come in. It kind of got a little tricky,” said Valenzuela. “I had two bogeys that kind of threw me off, but I think I managed to get back together and finish with a birdie on two par-5s [at Nos. 15 and 18] actually, so was really pleased with my round.”
Her performance at Lake Merced Golf Club marks the second time this year that Valenzuela has been in contention with 18 holes to play. In March, she entered Sunday at Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club in a tie for third for the Drive On Championship presented by Volvik but ultimately finished fifth. “I'm going to keep enjoying it. I think I'm finally feeling calm playing on the golf course,” Valenzuela said. “I started the week really feeling terrible. My swing was completely off, I could not feel my stroke but I managed to say, ‘You know what? Golf is an everyday thing.’ It's not because you don't feel great you're not going to score low.
“I have a good mindset, and whatever happens tomorrow happens, right? It's just golf at the end of the day, and next week is another event as well. Just going to try giving my best.”