With a small smile embroidered on her visor and a bigger smile on her face, Amy Yang ended the day with eight birdies and just one bogey on her card for a 7-under par third round – the lowest score of the morning.
“I felt like everything was in sync out there today,” Yang said. “It just gave me good momentum throughout the round.”
Saturday was certainly Yang’s best showing so far at the Chevron Championship. Yang shot just 2-under across her first two rounds and carded two double bogeys. The four-time LPGA winner put up her best numbers on moving day, averaging 275 yards off the tee, hitting 14 of 18 greens in regulation and needing just 25 putts to get through the course.
While Yang needed her entire bag to turn her momentum around, she really felt the biggest difference off the tee.
“Unlike the first two days, my driver shot was very solid out there,” Yang said. “Good, solid shots gave me a lot of chances to hit it close and putting was working well together. It’s just easier to shoot under par.”
Though Yang made quick work of the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, it wasn’t easy. Yang made it clear that the course was playing like a major and she had to stay consistent from tee to green to shoot so low.
“It’s more like my game felt easier out there,” Yang said. “Everything felt in sync and every shot was pretty solid. I didn't think the course was easy, but my game felt easy out there.
Yang has leapfrogged up the leaderboard into contention ahead of the final round, a feeling the 33-year-old LPGA veteran is all too familiar with. In her 16 seasons on Tour, Yang has racked up a whopping 19 top 10 finishes at majors but has yet to break through and hoist a trophy over her head.
“I’m out here to win a major, and getting close a lot of times and not being able to get one is just mentally tough,” Yang said. “But not much I can do except just do my best each day.”
Staying positive through the grind of the major season is tough and that makes the little wins, like smiling, even more important for Yang. This season, Yang started wearing a custom-made visor with a smiley face on it to bring some more good vibes onto the course with her.
“(The) smile, it just gives me positive energy,” Yang said with a smile. “Even for people who see me I hope they can smile, too.”
There are just 18 holes left to play at the Chevron Championship but plenty of opportunities for Yang to find her first major win – after all, something’s got to give soon. So, look for a smile at The Club at Carlton Woods tomorrow because Yang will certainly be someone to watch.