Kendall Dye stole the show Saturday at the Symetra Classic with a tournament-record 7-under 65 to vault into sole possession of the 36-hole lead. She is 10 under for the tournament.
Dye made nine birdies, including three in a row, to put an exclamation point on her day at Raintree Country Club. She changed her putting grip for the first time in 20 years last Sunday and needed just 24 putts on her round.
“It was all about my putter,” said Dye, who one-putted the final five holes. “Normally, I find fairways and greens, but today it was hard work, and I had to get up-and-down. Once I got a putter in my hand, I was making it or getting real close. It was nice to see the ball go in.”
Dye will play in the final group of the Symetra Classic for the second time. She finished fourth in 2014. Her caddie for the event is Billy Prentice, who was on the bag for Mallory Blackwelder when she won the tournament in 2014.
“I remember playing with Mallory and Billy was on her bag and she made everything,” Dye said. “I have a lot of good history on this course and so does he, and the greens are very similar to a club in Oklahoma City where I grew up.”
Former N.C. State star Augusta James, who finished second last year, will head into the final round alone in second at 9 under after posting a 67.
Raintree member Sara-Maude Juneau posted an even-par 72 and is tied for 14th.
Local professionals Allison Emrey (Ardrey Kell) and Laura Wearn (Charlotte Country Day) made the cut at even par and 1 over, respectively. Madison Moosa, a rising senior at Grace Academy playing on sponsor exemption, missed the cut but scored better than nearly a quarter of the field.
Kelly Whaley, a North Carolina freshman also playing on sponsor exemption, made the cut at 1 under.
The final round will begin at 7:30 a.m. Sunday. The leaders will tee off at about 12:30 p.m.