For a brief moment on Friday, there was a name other than Nasa Hataoka at the top of the Marathon LPGA Classic leaderboard. After opening with two bogeys in her first three holes, Elizabeth Szokol birdied five of the last six holes on her front nine and briefly held the lead at -9 after Hataoka tripped up mid-round.
“I was first out this afternoon so after I played my first few holes, I don't think Nasa had even teed off yet, so I wasn't paying too much attention to the leaderboard, and especially with that kind of shaky start. Wasn't really looking,” said Szokol, a University of Virginia alumna and 2018 Symetra Tour graduate. “Didn't see a whole lot of leaderboards the first few holes when I made a couple birdies on the front nine, my second nine today. But saw it on the back nine and I wanted to keep making birdies and dropping some putts, which was nice.”
Hataoka’s late rally dropped Szokol into a tie for third at -9 overall after her second-round 66. This is Szokol’s best showing through 36 holes, and her 133 sets her career-low 36-hole score, bettering the 135 she shot at the 2020 Pelican Women’s Championship. The third-year LPGA Tour player said she felt her game starting to click into place three weeks ago at the Meijer LPGA Classic, where she shot a second-round 65, and now she looks to put together four solid rounds for the first time this year.
“I feel like my game has been pretty close, so it's nice to see some good scores today,” said Szokol. “I love this golf course. It's so nice. It's so nice staying with the same host family for three years now. So I feel really comfortable here and it's nice to be back.”