If you wanted a clinic on how to score at Mountain Ridge Country Club, Elizabeth Szokol was the player to watch on Saturday. The Chicago native fired a 6-under 65 on a windy day in West Caldwell, N.J., a third round highlighted by seven birdies and just a single bogey. With the golf course posing a major-championship-level test, hitting fairways is incredibly important, something that Szokol knows has been critical to her success.
“I hit a lot of fairways and that definitely helped,” she said. “The first round I played well and hit a lot of fairways, and yesterday I struggled a little bit off the tee. I really tried to focus on hitting fairways, so I just kind of adjusted for the wind. I had a lot of good chances for birdie and got a few long putts to fall, so it was a good day.”
Szokol’s isn’t a name that you’ve seen atop many leaderboards — the last time she was in contention was at the Marathon LPGA Classic in July — but the mindset doesn’t change going into Sunday, even with a maiden LPGA Tour title within reach.
“I played in the final group at Marathon, which was awesome, so I’m thinking kind of the same thing: Just stay patient and see how many putts will fall. Same game plan,” said Szokol. “Just hit fairways off the tee, and I feel like if I do that, I'll have a pretty good chance.”