Xiyu Lin of China took a one-shot lead in The Ascendant LPGA benefiting Volunteers of America after carding a 6-under 65 on Thursday. She made five birdies and an eagle at the par-5 17th but was especially pleased with her par saves.
“This course, it's not easy to hit it close, so you need to roll some putts in. You probably have some tough par save, too. Like 18th hole I barely save par, and also 14. I actually hit two really good drive, especially 14, but it just trickle down. The fairway is super firm so trickle down in the bunker and I couldn't quite get a stand there. The bunker on the fairways are tough."
Lin hasn’t missed a cut in twenty events and hasn't finished outside of the top-50 this season.
Last week's winner Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand and American Lizette Salas share second place at 5-under.
“The course is pretty different than last week," said Thitikul. "It's a big change. Pretty firm and, you know, like every hole it's run-out and, the green, it's tricky as well. But, yeah, pretty good today. I mean, like I had a good game. Hitting pretty good. Get myself a lot of chance to make a birdie.”
Atthaya Thitikul's plan for success?
Keep it simple. ⛳️ pic.twitter.com/ejdGZT3Kc0
— LPGA (@LPGA) September 30, 2022
Salas, playing in her eighth Ascendant LPGA this week, was the only bogey-free player in the top three.
“I made a really good par on the first hole, left-to-right breaker. I think when I start making those left-to-right putts my confidence level just rises,” she said. “My birdie putts weren't close either. I think the only close one was 11 on the par-3. Just, really, short game is on point. I made it boring reading the putts really well and, again, going off the momentum from last week and applying that to this week."