Brenna Moore remained strong off of the tee box Friday to extend her lead to three strokes in the NCAA Division II Championships at course at The Meadows on the campus of Grand Valley State University.
The senior from Burkburnett carded a 2-over 74 going a stroke over par on each half of the Par-72, 6,193-yard course to establish a three-stroke lead over Lynn (Fla.)'s Samantha Smolen heading into Saturday's final round.
"Every part of her game is clicking right now and she's playing with a lot of confidence," MSU coach Jeff Ray said. "It's been a joy watching her play against this level of competition with her maturity. She has been great."
Moore, who carded scores of 74 and 73, goes out with a 7:40 a.m. (Central) tee time Saturday then will have to wait out the rest of the field as the tournament pairings are based on team scores.
"I see that as an advantage," Moore said. "I focus on each shot and just play the course. You have to play with what you have the whole time because I don't know where the other players are. I'm competing against the score and that is impacting me positively."
Moore opened the third round with five consecutive pars before taking a two-stroke lead with a birdie on the par-4, 309-yard sixth hole. She took a double bogey on the seventh hole, but recovered to string together five consecutive pars.
"If you miss the fairways here, it's a half a stroke or a stroke," Ray said. "She three-putted on No. 7, but that is a very, very difficult Par-3."
Moore continued her extreme accuracy and efficient play hitting 12 of 14 fairways and 12 greens in regulation taking 32 putts.
"She missed two fairways. One was a foot or two and then on 14 she was able to advance with a good lie," Ray said.
That proved to be clutch as Moore was able to get up and down for par after taking a bogey on the 13th hole. She would take another bogey on the 15th hole, but recovered with a clutch birdie on the par-4, 376-yard 16th hole.
"I'm a little exhausted," Moore said. "On the course today, even that one three footer would stop your momentum. It puts a little stress on you. Hopefully tomorrow, I can pull through."
Moore holds a three-stroke lead on Smolen while Indianapolis' Chanice Young (+9) and Brooke Beegle (+10) as well as first-round leader Madison Lellyo (+10) of Rollins (Fla.) round out the top five.
"Brenna's doing a great job of staying in the moment," Ray said. "We'll finish before the rest of the field tomorrow and see where her score lands."