Laura Gonzalez Escallon will take a one shot lead into the weekend at the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge.

“I’ve just been consistent,” Gonzalez Escallon said of her play. “I’ve been missing it on the right sides which obviously helps.”

Gonzalez Escallon has certainly been consistent as she is the one of two players in the field to be bogey free through the first 36 holes.

“Patience and trust whatever number you get,” Gonzalez Escallon explained. “Today with the wind you needed to be patient and just wait for birdies to come.”

The birdies came late for Gonzalez Escallon as she birdied two of her final three holes to post 3-under for the day to get to 9-under for the week with the highlight being a near ace on the par-3 ninth, her final hole of the day.

“It was tracking so I was hoping that I could hole it,” Gonzalez Escallon said with a smile. “I made two birdies in the last three holes so that was some good momentum to keep up for tomorrow.”

The forecast calls for wind again over the weekend but don’t expect that to bother the Belgian who has already won twice on the Symetra Tour this season.

“It gets windy at home, I’ve played a lot in Scotland and it gets windy in Indiana at Purdue so I’m used to it,” Gonzalez Escallon said. “You just have to be so patient out there.”

Dana Finkelstein, who is also bogey free on the week, sits a shot back of Gonzalez Escallon while Nelly Korda is third at 7-under.

“I played well today,” Korda said. “It was very windy today so you really had to think about every shot and really had to play smart golf out there. Try to minimize your mistakes as much as possible and just go fairway, green, two putt and if it rolls in then great but truthfully all you were focusing on was making pars.”

72 players made the cut at +4, 146.

The third and final rounds will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday off split tees in threesomes. The leaders will tee off at 9:42. The final round is expected to conclude at approximately 2:30 p.m. with a trophy ceremony on the 18th green.

MARISSA STEEN HAS SOUTH DAKOTA TIES: Marissa Steen sits at 5-under after two rounds of the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge.

“I’ve been making a lot of birdies which is nice,” Steen said. “I’ve been hitting my wedges pretty well and rolling some putts in.”

Steen has ties to South Dakota as she used to spend her winters living with Clark native and LPGA pro Kim Kauffman in Lake Mary, Florida.

“I lived with Kim for three years in Lake Mary so I got to know her coach Todd Kolb and his wife Sue the past couple of years so I’m staying with them this week. Even though I’m not from here it feels kind of like a home game since I do have some connections here already.

VOVIK RACE FOR THE CARD NO. 1 MADELENE SAGSTROM IN THE HUNT AGAIN: Volvik Race for the Card No. 1 Madelene Sagstrom is sitting in a tie for ninth entering the weekend at the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge.

“I definitely tougher out there today and a lot harder to go at the pins,” Sagstrom said. “The wind is definitely a huge factor out here.”

Sagstrom had pair of birdies against a pair of birdies for an even par round of 71 on Friday.

“A lot of fours on my scorecard,” Sagstrom joked. “I’ve taken some time off so I’m pretty happy that my game is starting to become better. I think that wind play is something that is hardest to keep up with and hardest to feel comfortable with so I’m really excited about the way that I was striking it today and I’m just hoping to adjust to the greens a little bit more and hopefully I can roll some putts in.”

 

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Written By: Symetra Tour Communications

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