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Four Americans sitting atop the leaderboard are poised for breakthroughs at the LPGA’s Volunteers of America Classic.
They’re all looking to claim their first LPGA titles.
Jaye Marie Green leads the way after blistering the Old American Golf Club outside Dallas Saturday with a 7-under 64, the low round of the tournament. At 14-under overall, she holds a one-shot lead on Cheyenne Knight (67), an LPGA rookie playing in front of family and friends just a short distance from where she grew up in Aledo.
Brittany Altomare (68) is just two shots back along with Katherine Perry (66).
South Korea’s Sei Young Kim (67), a nine-time LPGA winner, is the next closest pursuer, sitting five shots back.
Green, 25, vaulted out front early, making birdies at seven of the first eight holes. She was 8 under through 10 holes and on a 59 watch before a couple bogeys slowed her coming home.
J.M. Green (64): Just wasn’t ‘my time to shoot in the 50’s’
“I honestly was just really in the zone,” Green said. “That’s one of those things where when you’re in it – it’s kind of hard to describe – but nothing outside bothers you.
“I’m like, ‘You know what? You’re in the zone, try and stay there as long as possible,’ because sometimes it doesn’t last the whole round. I think I did a pretty good job of bringing myself back to that.”
What’s it going to take to win? Green said she has learned to resist thinking too far ahead. She said that lesson hit home at the U.S. Women’s Open this summer, when she had a chance to win in the final round before ultimately finishing tied for fifth.
“Being six years on tour, I kind of feel like we all pay our dues,” Green said. “I’ve learned so many lessons … It’s not learning if you don’t take something from it and then apply it. So, I feel like I did a good job of doing that today.”
Knight loved having so much family supporting her Saturday, including her grandmother.
“Seeing my grandma out here, who’s in her 80s, watching me play golf, because I don’t know how much longer she’s going to watch me play golf, is really special,” Knight said. “Just feeling all the support. I know if I have a bad hole, they’re still going to be rooting for me. If I have a good hole, hearing my mom and my aunt scream, it’s funny, but it’s really great.”