FRENCH LICK, Ind., Aug. 16, 2014 – LPGA Tour veteran Sherri Steinhauer carded a course-record score of 9-under 63 in Saturday’s second round of The Legends Championship to move within one stroke of tournament leader Laurie Rinker.
Steinhauer carded a 3-over 75 in Friday’s opening round and made bogey on her first hole today, but the Wisconsin native recorded 10 birdies on her last 17 holes to leapfrog into contention right on Rinker’s heels. Her score of 63 is her career-low round.
“I started hitting it close and making the putts,’’ said Steinhauer, a California resident who enters Sunday’s final round at 6-under 138 after 36 holes. “Then you just get out of your own way and keep swinging.’’
But Steinhauer will still have to hold off Rinker, who carded a 6-under 66 today to grab the lead at 7-under 137. Rinker tied for second at last year’s championship and came into the week believing she had some unfinished business at the Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort.
“I’m excited for tomorrow,’’ said Rinker, who finished two strokes behind 2013 champion Lorie Kane. “I feel pretty comfortable on this course. You’ve got to play along and take what it gives you and be patient.’’
Rinker started today’s second round with a four-stroke lead over Steinhauer. The Floridian hit 17 greens in regulation and had a 60-foot eagle chance from the fringe at No. 18, but only managed par on the final hole to keep a one-shot cushion in the $500,000 championship.
First-round co-leaders Rosie Jones (71) and Lisa Grimes (72) are in striking distance of the lead at 4-under 140, and 3-under 141, respectively.
Ohio’s Barb Mucha heads into Sunday’s final round at 2-under 142, while Great Britain’s Trish Johnson stands at one-under 143.
“Anything can happen tomorrow,’’ said Steinhauer, who won eight LPGA tournaments and two major championships before winning the first of her two Legends Tour titles in 2012. Her second Legends Tour win came last year at the Wendy’s Charity Challenge in Michigan.
Saturday’s play also included the start of the six-player Super Seniors division for players 63 and over. Jane Blalock, Legends Tour CEO and winner of last year’s Super Seniors division, is tied for the lead with Judy Dickinson and Shelley Hamlin, each posting a round of 77 on Saturday.
Due to an inclement weather forecast, Sunday tee times will start at 7:30 a.m., with players teeing off the first and tenth tees.