HARRIS, Mich. - The wind died down and several Symetra Tour players took advantage Saturday to turn in some solid scores at the Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass.
Leah Wigger takes a two-stroke lead into Sunday's final round at Sweetgrass Golf Club in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, but she is just one of three players who broke the course record in ideal playing conditions.
Wigger shot 66 to finish two rounds at 139, two strokes ahead of Aimee Neff, a Michigan State University graduate who next week will be playing in the U.S. Open at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, Wis., just three hours south of this challenging Upper Michigan course.
Hanna Kang of Seoul, South Korea holds the seven-iron she used Saturday to record a hole-in-one at the Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass. It was the first ace in the two-year history of the Symetra Tour Road to the LPGA tournament. (Daily Press photo by Dennis Grall)
Neff hit 1-under-71 to get a spot in the final group at 12:16 p.m. Sunday. Rachal Connor of Manchester, England completes that pairing after shooting 69 Saturday to bring a 142 total into the final round.
Sara Brown and Victoria Park also posted 6-under-66 Saturday as Friday's stiff winds abated and players could attack the slick greens. Brown had three consecutive birdies (holes 9-11) and had five of her seven on the back nine. Park also had seven birdies.
No one attacked a green better than Hanna Kang, who had a hole-in-one on the 170-yard 12th hole. It was the fourth ace of her career.
Kang used a 7-iron, hitting the ball off the back hill of the swale on the biaritz green. It rolled back into the cup, giving her a $500 prize that will be matched by a gift to a local charity.
"Anybody didn't see it," the native of Seoul, South Korea told the Daily Press of Escanaba. "It was exciting. It is totally different to do it in practice or a tournament."
Kang shot 69 and is in an eight-way tie for seventh place at 143.
Also at 143 is Brown, who won the My Marsh Classic this season, and 2005 U.S. Open champion Birdie Kim. Kim hit 71 Saturday.
Sharing third place at 142 are Rachel Connor of Manchester, England, Allison Hanna of Portland, Ore., Nicole Jeray of Berwyn, Ill. and Nitsuki Katahira of Tokyo. Connor shot 69, Jeray and Katahira had 70 and Hanna had 71.
Wigger has three straight top 15 finishes on the Symetra Tour this season and is looking for her second professional victory. She spent 2009-10 on the LPGA Tour before coming back to the Symetra Tour last year.
Neff, who learned Thursday she made the Open field as an alternate, was a four-time Big Ten Conference selection at Michigan State. She shot 71 Saturday.
Defending champion Stephanie Kim is not playing after undergoing ankle surgery last month.
Six out of the seven players in the Volvik Race for the Card made the cut Saturday. Brown is joined by No. 3 Jean Chua and No. 9 My Hyang Lee. No. 4 Lauren Doughtie missed the cut. A total of 73 players made the cut, which was at 6-over 150, leaving 73 players in the field for Sunday's final round, which begins at 7:30. The final group goes out at 12:16.
Among those missing the cut was the local favorite, amateur Carley Saint-Onge of Marquette. She hit 79 Saturday after shooting 85 Friday. A red-shirt freshman at MSU, Saint-Onge also missed the cut last year at 87-72 - 59.