Peiyun Chien’s best finish on the Symetra Tour was as a runner-up.
That may change Sunday.
Chien charged up the leader board Saturday during the second round of the Kansas City Championship at Staley Farms Golf Club, shooting a 5-under 67. She heads into the final round with a 1-stroke lead at 9-under 135.
“I hit my irons and putted well today,” said Chien, a native of Chinese Taipei. “I had seven birdies and everything was great heading into the 17th before I 3-putted and then 2-putted the 18th. But I’m very excited heading into (Sunday). I hope to take the championship.”
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Emma Talley, who just turned pro in June and is playing in her seventh Symetra Tour event, shot 4 under for the second day in a row and is in a tie for second place with Jackie Stoelting at 8-under 136.
“Coming off a bad week last week, I’m really proud of myself for coming back strong.” Talley said. “I’m playing really consistent, striking the ball well, and had several chances for birdies, which is really nice. I’m excited to see what happens Sunday.”
Talley, who won the 2015 NCAA Division I individual championship while playing for Alabama, is seeking her first professional title. Earlier in the year, she lost to Stoelting in a playoff at the Fuccillo Kia Championship in Albany, N.Y.
“All those experiences add up and give you confidence in situations like this,” Talley said. “We all have a good grasp of the course now. When you’re in contention you have to play one shot at a time, and whoever makes the most putts will pull it out.”
Stephanie Connelly is making the most of her final tournament. Retiring after this weekend so she can take the assistant women’s golf coaching position at the University of North Florida in her hometown of Jacksonville, Fla., Connelly joined Chien in shooting 5 under Saturday and enters the final round in fourth place, 2 shots back at 7-under 137.
“I hit the ball to where I put myself in good places to where I could make putts and everything just kept going in, and that’s a lot of fun,” Connelly said. “It’s exciting to have a chance to win as my last event. That would be a heck of a way to go out.”