Kendall Dye (Edmond, Okla.) carded a Symetra Classic tournament-record 7-under 65 on Saturday to take a one shot lead into the final-round on Sunday. Dye moved to 10-under, 134 and will aim for her second career win. Augusta James (Bath, Ontario) drained a 30-footer on her last hole to shoot a 5-under, 67 and is 9-under, 135. Erica Popson (Davenport, Fla.) turned in a 4-under 68 to move to solo third at 6-under, 136.

The cut was made at 1-over, 145 and 70 players will tee it up in groups of two on Sunday.

Dye made nine birdies on the day including three in a row to end the round.

“It was all about my putter,” said Dye, who one-putted the final five holes. “Normally, I find fairways and greens, but today it was hard work and I had to get up-and-down. Once I got a putter in my hand, I was making it or getting real close. It was nice to see them go in.”

Dye attempted just 24 putts on the day. For the first time in 20 plus years, Dye changed her putting grip this week.

“I was tired of insanity, doing the same thing over and over and not seeing the ball go in so I switched it up because it couldn’t have got any worse,” said Dye, who googled videos of Jordan Spieth. “I knew this course set up to my eye, it is a course similar to the one I grew up playing in Oklahoma City and you have to move the ball both ways and I love that.”

Dye was texting with her brother, Adam, last night after carding a 3-under 69 on Friday. She promised a 65 and delivered.

“I told him that it was a mid-60’s or low-60’s kind of day and I was like ‘what do you want a 65 tomorrow?’,” explained Dye. “He said ‘do it’ and I almost made an ace on 18 to beat our bet, but I was thinking this putt is for you, Adam, on my last two-footer.”

Two years ago, Dye played in the final group of the Symetra Classic and finished solo fourth when Mallory Blackwelder closed with a 67 to win. Dye won the IOA Golf Classic later that season and finished eighth on the Volvik Race for the Card money list to earn her LPGA Tour card. Blackwelder’s caddie in 2014 was Billy Prentice, who is on the bag for Dye this week.

“I remember playing with Mallory and Billy was on her bag and she made everything,” said Dye. “I have a lot of good history on this course and so does he and the greens are very similar to The Greens Country Club in Oklahoma City.”

Dye struggled on the LPGA in 2015 and is off to a hot-and-cold start in 2016. She has one top 10 finish, but also missed back-to-back cuts in early April. She finished in the top 30 in the last two events, but hasn’t felt herself until now.

“I couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn,” said Dye. “A good finish on Sunday would just show me that I’ve been working on the right things and that I’ve been working hard. My big goal is to get my full card again. I know that I can compete out there (LPGA) and win out there, I just need to keep my head down and get after it.”

Dye currently ranks 43rd on the Volvik Race for the Card money list and a win on Sunday would go a long way towards helping her return to the LPGA.

Dye and James will play in the final group on Sunday and tee at 1:10 p.m.

 

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Photo Credit: Mark Walters

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