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Alejandra Llaneza finding a rhythm atop Symetra Tour

Alejandra Llaneza hits her shot off the 11th tee during the second round of the Symetra Classic on Friday at Raintree Country Club. Llaneza, the winner of the LPGA Symetra Tour event at Greenwood, S.C., on May 10, leads the Symetra Tour in earnings this season with $35,969.
Alejandra Llaneza hits her shot off the 11th tee during the second round of the Symetra Classic on Friday at Raintree Country Club. Llaneza, the winner of the LPGA Symetra Tour event at Greenwood, S.C., on May 10, leads the Symetra Tour in earnings this season with $35,969. BILL KISER

Mexico’s Alejandra Llaneza always seems to get off to a slow start with her golf game on the women’s pro tours.

However, it doesn’t take Llaneza long to find her groove.

“That’s how it’s been the past few years,” Llaneza, 26, said Friday before the second round of the Symetra Classic at Raintree Country Club.

“I’m not sure why it is – I guess it’s just a matter of getting into the rhythm of the traveling and playing the tours, and improving every week. But I’m happy it works that way.”

This season has been especially successful for Llaneza, a former Mexican junior national champion who went on to star at Arizona before turning pro in 2012.

The Mexico City native won her first career Symetra Tour event two weeks ago, in Greenwood, S.C. The $30,000 paycheck from that win pushed Llaneza atop the tour’s earnings list with $35,969.

Llaneza shot a 10-under 278 at The Links at Stoney Point to win the tournament – coming in her 39th career Symetra Tour start – by one stroke over Casey Grice.

“That was very big for my confidence,” Llaneza said. “Knowing that I’m on the right path, knowing that I was able to win on one of the toughest weeks, with some great competition around me.”

The win at Stoney Point was followed by Llaneza making the cut for the LPGA Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Va. – her first in three LPGA Tour events entered this season, and the ninth (in 26 attempts) in her career.

“I’m just trying to do my best wherever I play, no matter where it is,” Llaneza said. “Making the cut was okay – I wanted to finish a little better (tied for 66th) – but I still felt like I played pretty good, and want to keep carrying that forward.”

Llaneza shot a 2-under 70 in Friday’s second round to finish the day at 3-under 141, good enough to make the cut for Saturday’s final round of the Symetra Classic.

That extends Llaneza’s run of consecutive cuts made on the Symetra Tour to 30 straight tournaments, dating back to the 2012 season. In her career, she’s 38-for-40 in cuts made.

“The level of competition is getting better every year, so it’s a great achievement to be there every week,” Llaneza said.

Italia takes 2nd-round lead: American pro Haley Italia posted her second straight 4-under 68 to take a one-stroke lead entering Saturday’s final round.

Italia, of Pace, Fla., is at 8-under 136, just ahead of Katie Kempter of Albuquerque, N.M., and first-round co-leaders Haruka Morita-Wanyaolu of China and Canada’s Augusta James, all sitting at 7-under 138.

Rachel Rohanna of Wayneburg, Pa., was two shots out of the lead at 6-under 138, with six others – including 2003 champ Laura Kueny of Whitehall, Mich. – tied at 5-under 139.

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