Stacy Lewis sat at even par after her first nine holes of the Walmart Northwest Arkansas Championship.
But she’s been lights out ever since.
The former Razorback golfer shot a 6-under 65 on Saturday to put herself in a tie for the lead at 10-under heading into Sunday’s final round at Pinnacle Country Club. Lewis fired a 4-under 31 on the back nine on Friday.
“I’ve had so much fun out there,” Lewis said. “The crowds I have looked at them and it makes me smile. That kept me so relaxed.”
Lewis, who started on the back nine, began her round with four straight pars but four straight birdies got the ball rolling. Lewis added four more birdies on the front nine before making bogey on the last to finish off the round.
“I play on rhythm,” Lewis said. “I play on momentum. That kept going and going. I wanted to birdie No. 17 so bad. That was really cool. If I can birdie No. 17 tomorrow, the place will go nuts.”
Lewis shares the lead with three other golfers but the No. 2 ranked golfer in the world has to be the heavy favorite heading into the final round.
She will tee off in the final group Sunday at 1:50 pm.
Chie Arimura and Beatriz Recari each matched Lewis’ round of 65 to move to 10-under for the tournament. Both the Spaniard Recari and Japan native Arimura did so without recording a bogey.
Mika Miyazato, who led after the opening round, was tied at 10-under at one point on Saturday but bogey at No. 2, No. 3 and No. 5 quickly sent her down the leaderboard. Inbee Park, the world’s No. 1 ranked player, fired a 6-under 65 on Saturday to move within two strokes of the lead.
Tour veteran Juli Inkster also carded a second round 65 to move to 6-under for the tournament. Inkster is currently second among active players on the LPGA with 31 career wins.
Defending champion Ai Miyazato struggled on day one, shooting a 2-over 73 but bounced back with an impressive 65 to move back to red numbers.