Germany’s Caroline Masson muscled her way into a tie for second with major champion Lexi Thompson after carding a second-consecutive bogey-free round on Moving Day at the Dana Open presented by Marathon. The 33-year-old fired a 6-under 65 on Saturday, making birdies on Nos. 5, 6, and 8 on the front nine and then recorded three more in her last three holes. The score is her lowest of the 2022 season and her 54-hole total of 200 is now the second lowest of her LPGA Tour career. This is the first time this season that Masson has been within five of the lead entering the final round and she’s been impressed with her play so far this week in Sylvania, giving a lot of credit to her ability to remain patient on the greens.
“Really nice to finish with three birdies. I think I did the same thing as yesterday: stayed patient, waiting for the putts to drop. I hit a really good second shot into 16 to probably six feet, so good chance there,” said Masson. “Both 17 and 18 now had really good tee shots; hit the green in two both times, so actually had eagle putts. You're hoping for one of them maybe to fall in but hit two good putts, and easy birdies are always nice.”
It hasn’t been Masson’s best year on the LPGA Tour. She’s missed eight cuts in 18 starts with her best stroke-play result coming at the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give, where she finished tied for 12th. But Highland Meadows Golf Club is a course that Masson tends to play exceptionally well – she finished T5 in both 2019 and 2021 – and it’s that fact coupled with her stellar putting performance this week that could make all the difference as the German looks to capture her first win in six years on the same day that she captured her maiden LPGA Tour title.
“You want to get the first win, and once you get that, I think the second one is maybe even harder,” said Masson who was last victorious at the 2016 Manulife LPGA Classic. “But at the same time, I'm really pretty chill about everything. Yes, I want to win. That's what I work for. That's what I work towards. But I'm not going to think about that much tomorrow. It's just about going through the motions, doing the same things, and obviously, I like those numbers so I'm going to take that and try it run with it tomorrow.”