Despite tough day, Liu still atop Four Winds Invitational leaderboard

Published 9:44 pm Saturday, August 13, 2022

SOUTH BEND — She may have stumbled out of the gate, but first-round leader Yan Liu regrouped and charged back to the top of the leaderboard at the Four Winds Invitational at the South Bend Country Club Saturday.

Liu double-bogeyed No. 10, her first hole of the second round, while Selena Costabile got off to a hot start, replacing at the front of the field momentarily. Liu would respond with three birdies over a four-hole stretch to reclaim the lead at 9-under par.

Liu would have an up and down day on the front nine with two bogeys and two more birdies, but finished the day at 9-under par, atop the leaderboard and two strokes better than Gabby Lemieux, who was the hottest golfer on the course Saturday.

“I’m a professional golfer,” Liu said. “I need to do professional things. Golf is sometimes hard and sometimes easy,” said Liu. “Today was hard, but yesterday was easy for me. Golf is a long game. We have five hours on the course. I just try to relax and stay patient.”

Lemieux rebounded from a 71 on the opening day to shoot a 6-under par 66 and move into second place at 7-under par. She had seven birdies and just one bogey as she played her way into contention heading into Sunday’s final round. Three times on Saturday Lemieux had back-to-back birdies.

“It feels like a long time coming,” Lemieux said. “I’ve missed a lot of cuts over the last five events. To go from basically the bottom to the top, knowing that I’ve put all this work in, I feel like I’m still there. It’s nice to see it all come together. Tomorrow I’m going to wake up and do the exact same thing I did the last two days. I have to stay patient, and I think that’s the one thing I did today regardless of the score. I’m just trying to take one step at a time, because I feel like that’s usually when everybody plays their best golf.”

Costabile finished the day 2-under par, which was good for third place at 6-under par with 18 holes remaining to play. Roberta Liti is a shot further back at 5-under par, while five players are at 4-under par and five others are at 3-under par.

The field has been trimmed to the top 60 players plus ties for the final round Sunday.