Long putts help Brit seize Credit Union Classic lead

Jordan-Higgins in front after rounds of 68, 67

— Kongkraphan never found her comfort zone, either off the tee or on the greens. Six bogeys, including strokes dropped on 15 and 16, negated the five birdies she put up and spun her out of a lead she had held through most of the first 27 holes.

While all that was going on, Jordan-Higgins, who attended college in the United States at Charleston Southern University, was continuing to build on the momentum she gained on Friday, when she overcame a slow start (36 on the back nine despite an eagle on 13) to shoot 68.

As Kongkraphan had done in the opening round, Jordan-Higgins birdied the first three holes, quickly getting to six under. Briefly she held the lead before a bogey on 7 gave her a front-nine 34.

It was on the 10th hole that the critical surge began. A birdie there, plus a par on the tough uphill 11th, put Jordan-Higgins back in front due to the stumbles of Kongkraphan and Little.

On the 12th, Jordan-Higgins pulled her tee shot to the right edge of the green, with the pin on the left. Then she promptly sank the long putt, and followed that up on 13 with a 20-foot birdie putt that also found the cup.

Having moved to eight under, Jordan-Higgins now possessed an opportunity to build a big lead. But on 15, her drive lodged up against a tree, forcing her to take an unplayable lie, and it took a terrific approach shot and chip to salvage a bogey.

A wait on the 16th tee proved a blessing, as Jordan-Higgins said she used that time to regroup. She closed with three straight pars.

Though conditions were tough, Alice Kim did even better than Jordan-Higgins by recording a hole-in-one at the 12th. Moah Chang picked up an ace of her own on the 130-yard, uphill 8th.

This is the second time in three weeks that Jordan-Higgins has begun the final round two shots in front. She was in the same position at the Credit Union Challenge in Albany, but shot a 72 and tied for second behind Wei-Ling Hsu.

Now comes a second chance, and it comes amid forecasts of wet weather that has forced early tee times on Sunday. The first groups go off at 8:30 and the last threesome of Jordan-Higgins, McChrystal and Kongkraphan are schedule to start at 10:30.

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