Liu leads at Harder Hall Invite
Mark Pinson | Highlands TodaySEBRING - Mika Liu carded a 1-under 71 in Saturday's third round to take a one-shot lead heading into Sunday's final round of the 58th Harder Hall Women's Invitational.
Published: January 7, 2013
Published: January 7, 2013
Liu had rounds of 66-75-71 — 212, while Hannah Pietila is in second place at 213 and Erica Popson is third at 214.
JiaXin Yang and Ashlan Ramsey are tied at 215, Kelsey MacDonald is at 216 and 2011 Harder Hall champion Ashleigh Albrecht is in with a 217.
Results from Sunday's final 18 holes were not available at press time. For the latest results, go to the Highlands Today Facebook page.
Liu has either led or been tied for the lead after all three rounds, and the talented 13-year-old doesn't seem intimidated by competing against older, more experienced players, or bothered by the pressure.
Pietila has been very consistent with rounds of 72-71-70 over the tight and demanding 6,151-yard, par 72 Harder Hall Country Club course.
Popson, a senior at the University of Tennessee and a Curtis Cup player, hits the ball a long way and has an advantage with her length on many of the holes, especially the par 5s.
With eight players within seven shots heading the final round, the prestigious tournament title was up for grabs.
"I just have to believe in myself and my game," said Popson, who is from Davenport. "I'm playing pretty well and just need to keep it going.
"It would mean so much to win this tournament and have my name on the trophy with all of those great players."
After three rounds, the leader in the First Flight was Betsie Johnson at 229; Ali Cowan was second with a 232; and Laura Hendee, Emmie Pietila, Annie Dulman and Kyle Roig were tied at 233.
In the Second Flight, Emily Rymer was first with a 239, Alessandra Kutz was second with a 241 and Ashley Rose was in third at 244. Elizabeth Haines, Ashley Burke and Mackenzie Moir were tied at 247.
Diane Lang was the leader in the Third Flight with a total of 251, while Maria Marino and Paige Moffat were tied for second place with a 252. Alexandra Hershberger, Robyn James, Barbara Pagana and Jean Mowry were tied at 257.
In the Fourth Flight, Georgia Gilling was leading with a score of 262, Chandler Case was in second place with a 264 and Briana Midkiff was in third with a total of 267. Mhairi McKay is at 270; Denise Callahan and Claire Serruto are tied with a 273.
The final round was delayed by fog, and some of the lower flights were shortened to nine holes Sunday and a total of 63 holes for the tournament.
With a large field of 131 players, this had to be done, or the Championship Flight leaders would not have been able to finish because of darkness.
Many players on the LPGA Tour have competed in the Harder Hall Invitational in the past including: Stacy Lewis, Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel, Alexis Thompson, Natalie Gulbis and Brittany Lincicome.
Many of the players in this year's tournament will be turning pro in the coming months.
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