BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — With a different day brings better weather, and that was very good news on Saturday at the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship. August James sits 2 strokes behind the lead with a share of sixth. She fired five birdies and one bogey on Saturday to head into Sunday’s round 6-under for the tournament.
The weather wasn’t the most important factor of the day though, but rather who could sink the final putt to take over first place through two rounds of play.
Janie Jackson held the lead at 7-under prior to her 2:25 p.m. second-round tee time on Saturday, but her lead didn’t last for long. There was a 6-way tie for first place heading into the latter portion of the afternoon. Between Jackson, Karolina Vlckova, Linnea Johansson, Casey Danielson, Kendall Dye, and Maia Schechter, nobody could pull away to take over solo possession of the lead.
Schechter was playing lights out, marking five total birdies on the day, compared to a lone bogey on her card. However, it was experience over tenacity that changed the leaderboard late.
Former LPGA Tour player Silvia Cavalleri decided it was her time to shine.
Cavalleri got off to quite the rough start, starting her day with back-to-back bogeys in her first two holes. She quickly bounced back from her issues, and birdied the third hole.On the 15th hole, she tallied her third birdie of the day, which put her in a tie for first at 7-unde-parr. Her fourth birdie of the day came at just the right time on hole No. 17, as it pushed her into the sole possession of first place at 8-under-par.
With the lead in her hands, Cavalleri needed to par the 18th to maintain sole possession of the lead heading into Sunday’s final round. She was lyingtwo on the fringe in front of the green, and needed to two-putt to finish with the lead. With her short game consistently having her back all day long, she decides to putt from nearly 25 feet away, and ended up just about a foot short of the hole.
Cavelleri tapped in to preserve the lead, and will head into the final day of competition one stroke ahead of the field.