No player has been more consistent on the Symetra Tour this year than Canadian Anne-Catherine Tanguay. The 26 year-old Quebec golfer has five top 15 finishes in five starts this season, three of those in the top 5.
And now, she is chasing another with enough ferocity that it could have her at the top of the leaderboard by weekend’s end.
On Friday Tanguay birdied three of her first five holes en route to a bogey-free 7-under, 65 to vault into the lead at the Self Regional Healthcare Foundation Women’s Health Classic.
Tanguay set her personal career-low round to move to 10-under, 134. She takes a two shot lead into the weekend over Celine Boutier (Montrouge. France). Through 36 holes at The Links at Stoney Point, Tanguay has 11 birdies and one bogey.
Rachel Rohanna (Waynesburg, Pa.) and Augusta James (Bath, Ontario) share third place at 6-under, 138.
The weather and wind in particular cooperated on Friday and scores were much lower. A total of 51 players posted under-par rounds on Friday and 12 turned in 68 or better.
The cut was made at 3-over, 148 and 60 players will tee it up over the weekend. Due to inclement weather expected overnight into Saturday morning, the Tour adjusted the third round start time. Players will tee from the first and tenth tees in groups of three starting at 10:00 a.m.
Tanguay, 26, was aggressive from the start. She birdied one, three and five and turned in 31. After six pars to open her closing nine, she tallied birdies on seven and eight.
The round was made special because Tanguay’s mom (Lucie) and dad (Yvan) flew in last night to watch her play over mother’s day weekend.
“That made the round really special because I feel like they haven’t watched me play in awhile,” said Tanguay. “I told them that the putts were just waiting on you guys to drop so I’m really happy.”
The putts certainly dropped. She needed just 27 putts on the day after attempting 32 on Thursday when she posted a 69.
“It is always good to play well early in the week,” said Tanguay, who earned 15 top 10’s at Oklahoma. “I want to stay aggressive the rest of the week and keep making birdies.”
Tanguay was bolstered early in the week while working with Tristan Mullally of Golf Canada.
“We worked a lot on shaping shots with my wedges and it really helped with my iron play too,” explained Tanguay, who has hit 33-of-36 greens in regulation so far. “I crafted shots and it felt like every yardage was a good yardage today. As long as I keep my driver in the fairway, we’ll be good to go.”
Tanguay also started working with a new sports psychologist through Golf Canada in February.
“She (Christie Gialloreto) has been so helpful for me, it just clicks,” said Tanguay. “I’m definitely making better shots because of her and she is awesome. We talk every week about whatever is on my mind.”
Tanguay currently ranks fourth on the Volvik Race for the Card money thanks to her four top 10 finishes this season. She has nine top 10’s in her career.
Boutier, who shared the first round lead after a 68 on Thursday, carded another 68 on Friday.
“I didn’t make many mistakes and I saved some good pars,” said Boutier. “It’s a long tournament and I feel like two shots back is not much so I hope I can keep playing this way.”
Boutier nearly eagled the 18th hole. She was 62 yards out with her third shot and hit the flag stick with her 54-degree wedge approach shot.
“I didn’t see the ball hit the pin, but I heard it and I was scared the ball was going to run off,” explained Boutier. “It was a great shot.”
The rookie will go for her first win and third top 10 finish this weekend.