Canadian golf Olympian Alena Sharp has recorded just two bogies through 54 holes of the LOTTE Championship presented by Hershey this week. Combined with a stunning 16 birdies, it has put the Hamilton, Ontario native in a share of second place with just eighteen holes left on the schedule.
Sharp, seeking her first LPGA win, got off to a hot start in round one on Wednesday with birdies on three of her first five holes and has not slowed down. 67-69-66 has her at -14 total and tied with 18-time LPGA TOUR winner Cristie Kerr, who matched the course record with a 62 (-10) on Friday.
They both sit three strokes off the lead of Su-Yeon Jang.
Her play in Oahu has been a nice turnaround for Sharp, who has missed the cut in her last three outings. She says a strong week of practice helped her preparation for this trip to Hawaii, with the dividends coming mostly on the putting green.
“Yeah., made some good par saves, some good birdie putts to start of the day, “said the 36 year-old Canadians who now calls Arizona home.”…very happy with how I played.”
“The greens are good. I feel like I have a good read on them. Like when I just stand up to the putt, because I’ve been here so many times, I just know how they’re going to break or how much they’re going to break. I feel confident with that.”
As an LPGA veteran and a non-winner, Sharp is keenly aware of her position and the opportunity that Saturday will provide to change that status.
“Definitely. Obviously I would love to win tomorrow, but if I don’t I’m really proud of how I played this week coming back from having a rough month in March.”
That said, as a five-time player of this event, the Canadians knows what she will have to do to close the gap and overcome the leader.
“Well, I know I’m going to have to take advantage of my length tomorrow and really think about what kind of shots I got to hit into these pins when I have a wedge in my hands.
I’m just going to go at it like I did the last three days and see what happens tomorrow.”
Also in the top twenty headed into the final round is Sharp’s Olympic teammate from RIO, Brooke Henderson.
The Smiths Falls, Ontario native is -7 (70-69-70), placing her in a share of 15th.