First-time Rolex winner Athaya Thiticol He took advantage of Moving Day’s biggest advantage at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G in Rogers, Ark. The 19-year-old fired a stealth-free, 10-under-61 shot to equal the 18-hole championship record set by the first-time champion So Yoon Ryo In 2017 and they now have a one-shot lead headed into Sunday. The 61 is Thitikul’s lowest run in the LPGA Tour, beating her previous record of 63 by two shots, and her 36-hole total of 128 is also a new level in career, three shots better than the 131 she set at Honda 2021 LPGA Thailand. Coming out at 32 on the back of a nine, Thitikul set the front nine on fire, and finished Eagle Bird to clear the taped round – an 18-hole that saw her mind go “empty” as she played.
“I played a really good game even yesterday, but I didn’t hit that much,” said the rookie, who only needed 26 balls to get the job done on Saturday. “I took a very good shot and then just keep rolling, be patient, I shot more than yesterday. I think my mind is blank and nothing is there. Just hit a shot, just tap it, put it in. Like completely empty. Really good or when I shoot like really low points, my mind is like a void. It’s really good to keep this empty mind for tomorrow.”
It’s the first time in young Thitikul’s career that she’s slept on the 36-hole lead or co-lead, but she’s no stranger to competing on Sunday. She was named a Rolex winner for the first time earlier this season at the JTBC Classic presented by Barbasol after defeat Nana Korsz Madsen In a playoff game at Aviara Golf Club. When asked what it would mean to get her second win in such a short time, the 2022 rookie gave the answer of a Tour veteran.
“I think everyone who plays here wants to win; every week we play we want to win, and as if it’s your day, it’s your day, as I said every time,” said Titikul. If it isn’t, it won’t be. But if I can win tomorrow, that will be my number two in the round, it will be very special.”
one shot is Yuka Sasu, who like Thitikul, knows what it means to win when he is just 19 years old. Sasso became a member of the LPGA Tour after winning the 2021 US Women’s Open presented by ProMedica and is looking forward to her first win since that fateful day at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. She followed up the first flawless round of Round 64 with another no-stealth, 6-under-65 round that finished second on its own at -13.
“Just try to be patient and try to play consistent, try to have fun,” said Sasso, who hit 8 of 13 lanes and 13 of 18 greens on Saturday. “That was my mentality this week. I don’t think I would change anything. I try to have fun and learn a lot tomorrow.”
Lilia Fu She’s in the mix for the second straight event despite suffering some discomfort since last week’s AmazingCre Portland Classic. Vu finished second in a row 65 on day two highlighting three straight birds on 16, 17 and 18 and an eagle on a 5 par-5. She currently sits in third place solo, two shots from Thitikul’s back. It’s the third time this season that she’s within five of the lead entering the final round and Vu hasn’t taken the chance yet, still working toward an elusive first LPGA Tour title.
“I feel like it was never a matter of my game or my skills that I was missing. I felt like I wasn’t looking at golf in a healthy and positive way. Every shot was life or death,” Fu said. “I feel like I found out about it last year. I will just go there and have fun. I know how good I am. I will do my best, and whatever happens, it will happen. Taking that mindset has helped me this year as well.”
Nine players in a tie for fourth place at -10, most notably Chevron champion Jennifer KupshawWorld Health Organization he is Looking for her fourth win in the 2022 season, And a six-time LPGA Tour winner Daniel Kang, which started for the third time since undergoing treatment for a tumor in her spine. A total of 70 players made the cut at -4, including the University of Arkansas alumni Alana Uriel And the Gabi Lopez.