Olivia Mehaffey: Northern Ireland amateur two behind going into final day of Symetra Tour event

Olivia Mehaffey is one of three amateurs playing in this week's Symetra Tour event
Olivia Mehaffey led by two at the halfway stage in Arizona after a 64 on Friday

Northern Ireland amateur Olivia Mehaffey is two off the pace going into the final round of the Arizona Women's Golf Classic Symetra Tour event.

Leading by two shots after firing an eight-under-par 64 on Friday, Mehaffey struggled on her front nine on Saturday before battling back into contention.

Three straight birdies from the 13th helped her sign for a 71.

That left her sharing third place on 12 under par and two behind leader China's Ruixin Liu who fired a 67 on Saturday.

Liu, who played on the LPGA Tour in 2019, leads Spanish player Fatima Fernandez Cano (66) by one with France's Celine Herbin sharing third place with Mehaffey.

The county Down native one of three amateurs playing in this week's tournament which is an event on the second-tier Symetra Tour.

After birdieing the first, Mehaffey double bogeyed the second and a further gain at the fifth was followed by more dropped shots at the eighth and ninth as she went to the turn in 38.

However, the Northern Irishwoman moved back up the leaderboard again on her second nine with three successive birdies from the 13th.

Mehaffey postponed her move into the professional game last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In her fifth year of study at Arizona State, she had planned to compete in the LPGA Qualifying School from August until September before the pandemic led to major changes in the golfing calendar.

Top Stories

Also in NI Sport