After 54 holes at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, Americans Jennifer Kupcho and Lizette Salas (Team Youth On Course) top the leaderboard with a four-stroke lead at -17 overall. The duo carded a bogey-free 64, tying the tournament foursomes record set by Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn in 2019, and set a new 54-hole record at 193, besting Jasmine Suwannapura and Cydney Clanton’s score from the inaugural event by one.
“We were just out there playing, and I feel like that's what we're best at, is having fun together,” said Kupcho, who is going for her third victory this season. “I feel like we definitely did that today, and that's how we were so calm in shooting that.”
Salas, who has not won since her maiden Tour victory at the 2014 Kingsmill Championship, said staying patient as the winds picked up during the round was a key to their success. “We were just calm, and we kind of just wanted to separate ourselves a little bit and give us some sort of cushion for tomorrow knowing that we're playing our own ball and the scores can get deep,” said Salas, whose season-best result was a tie for 16th from the JTBC Classic heading into this week. “We just played really well, and that's all we could have asked for.”
Heading into the final day at -13, Matilda Castren is looking to add another Tour victory to her resume in Midland, while her partner Kelly Tan (Team Finasia) could become the Tour’s first Malaysian winner. “I think we're going to stick to what we did on Thursday. It worked really well for us. I'm going to be playing, sorry, we're playing both the holes, but I'm going to be hitting first,” said Tan. “We're just going to keep doing the same thing and hopefully make a lot of birdies.”
Haeji Kang and Tiffany Chan (Team HK2) and 36-hole leaders Pauline Roussinand Dewi Weber (Team French Fry and Apple Pie) sit in a tie for third at -11. Roussin and Weber started slow with their first birdie of the day coming at No. 8, but two double bogeys, a bogey and only one more birdie on No. 17 brought the duo’s score to a third-round 73. The two are looking ahead to Saturday as they chase the leaders for a chance at becoming the second and third rookie winners in 2022.
“I think maybe tomorrow if I just happen to be a little bit, go first or whatever, just make sure the ball is on the green so I can let you do your thing. And vice versa, there are things I really like to do,” said Weber. “There's a bit more strategy, I think, than maybe that second day that we played best ball. But yeah, we're just taking that shot by shot, and we'll see how it goes.”
Three teams are in a tie for fifth at -10, including LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame member Karrie Webb and LPGA Tour winner Marina Alex (Team KarMa). Six groups are tied for eighth at -9, including rookies Hye Jin Choi and Na Rin Anas well as U.S. Solheim Cup captain Stacy Lewis and Dow ambassador Maria Fassi (Team TexMex). Team Fizzy Swedez, 72-time winner Annika Sorenstam and Madelene Sagstrom, dropped to a tie for 18th at -7 overall after a 2-over 72 on Friday.
WITH A WIN
Lizette Salas would earn the second victory of her LPGA Tour career and first since the 2014 Kingsmill Championship, a span of 8 years, 1 month and 28 days; Jennifer Kupcho would earn her third win of the year, becoming the first player to earn three wins in 2022
Salas would be the fifth American to win in 2022; she would also become the 42nd player in LPGA Tour history cross the $7 million mark in career earnings
Matilda Castren would earn her second career LPGA Tour victory, and Kelly Tanwould become the year’s fifth Rolex First-Time Winner; Tan would also become the first LPGA Tour winner from Malaysia
Pauline Roussin/Dewi Weber and Haeji Kang/Tiffany Chan would become the fifth and sixth Rolex First-Time Winners of the 2022 season
Roussin and Weber would be the second and third players to make the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational their first wins on Tour, following Cydney Clanton(teamed with Jasmine Suwannapura) in 2019
Roussin and Weber would be the second and third 2022 rookies to win through 17 events this season
Weber would earn a berth in next week’s Amundi Evian Championship; her teammate Roussin is already in the major field
Chan would become the first LPGA Tour winner from Hong Kong; Kang would be the first Korean player to become a Rolex First-Time Winner since Jeongeun Lee6in 2019