Kat Kennedy of Alberta PPC shot a two-under 70 for the best round of the tournament to take a one stroke lead heading into the final round of the Sun Life Ladies Amateur Championship at Red Deer Golf and Country Club. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate staff)

Kennedy takes narrow lead into final round at Alberta ladies amateur

Kat Kennedy is the only player to finish in red numbers through two days at the Sun Life Financial Ladies Amateur Championships.

She battled scorching temperatures at Red Deer Golf and Country Club Thursday afternoon and fired a two-under 70 to take a one stroke lead over Kenna Hughes heading into the final round. Kennedy sits at plus one for the tournament and said after her round putting has still been a problem through two rounds.

“I was driving the ball well, I was hitting a lot of greens but I definitely left a lot of putts out there,” she said. “I just need to trust my line more. Having that extra confidence before I make my putt. Just keeping doing what I’m doing and hopefully gain some momentum.”

Kennedy added that so far, it’s been the greens that have been the toughest test at RDGCC. Still, she’s enjoyed the test of the course and the competition.

“I just can’t seem the read the line that I want. Matching the line and the speed has been the struggle,” she said.

”It’s a great event and coming back and playing with a lot of the girls amateur girls I grew up golfing with and golfing with junior girls that are getting really good. It’s a great experience, Alberta Golf always puts on a great event and for Red Deer to give us such an amazing course is great.”

The University of British Columbia Thunderbirds star was the favourite coming into the event with defending champion Jaclyn Lee not in the field to defend her title. Kennedy was the runner-up last year and expects a challenge from the field if she wants to pull out the victory on Friday.

Kennedy (+1), Hughes (+3) and Andrea Kosa (+3) will be the final grouping and are set to tee off at 9:40 a.m. Friday.

Shaye Leidenius playing out of Wolf Creek Golf Resort in Ponoka shot her second straight 78 and is sits alone in tenth place for the tournament. Leidenius is the top Central Alberta player in the tournament so far.

She played last season at Red Deer College. Her Queens squad won bronze in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference for 2016.

Clare McMahon finished the day plus 11 and Tracy Biluk was plus 12.

The first group of the final round tees off at 7:30 a.m. on Friday at Red Deer Golf and Country Club.

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