Laura Wearn (Charlotte, N.C.) set her personal low and the Atlanta National Golf Club female course record with a 7-under 65 on Thursday to take the 18-hole lead at the Gosling’s Dark ‘n Stormy® Classic. Volvik Race for the Card No. 1 Madelene Sagstrom (Enkoping, Sweden), who is one win from a Battlefield Promotion to the LPGA, is in solo second after a 5-under 67.

Wearn made six birdies and one eagle against just one bogey. She put an exclamation point on her round by draining a 30-foot birdie putt from the fringe on 18.

“It was really exciting,” said Wearn about her strong finish. “I was a little frustrated that I hit my approach over the green so to get a birdie was great. I’m really happy that I made that last putt.”

Wearn said that her tee shots and her putting were the two keys to the round. She attempted only 25 putts on the day and hit her drive on hole six 285 yards.

“I hit some good tee balls that put me in position and I putted well,” explained the 25-year-old Wearn. “I had some awesome par saves on the back nine and that really kept my momentum going.”

With her distance off the tee (she ranks fourth on Tour in driving distance), Wearn took full advantage of the par-5 holes. She was five-under on the four par-5’s.

“Par-5’s are always a really good opportunity for me to make birdies,” said Wearn. “I had a wedge in my hand on most of the par-5’s so it was nice to take advantage.”

Wearn started the year slow by missing the cut in the first three events. She has shown improvement with cuts made in each of the last three events.

“I’ve had some good rounds out here, but this is by far the best,” said Wearn. “Hopefully I can have another good round out here tomorrow. The biggest thing for me is keeping myself in play. If I can do that and make putts, good things will happen.”

Wearn has one career top 10 finish in 2014 when she placed T9 at the Credit Union Classic.

She played in just one event in 2015 after having surgery on her back in May.

This is not the first time Wearn has visited the Atlanta area. Her aunts live in Buckhead and her grandparents also used to live in the area.

“It is good to be back in Atlanta,” said Wearn. “I’ve spent a lot of time here and I really like it.”


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Written By: Bret Lasky