It's officially a shootout at the Michigan PGA Women's Open Championship at Crystal Mountain.
Becca Huffer, a former University of Notre Dame golfer from Denver, shot a personal-best 8-under-par 64 Tuesday on the Mountain Ridge Course and jumped into a three-way tie for first place heading into Wednesday's final round.
She's tied through 36-holes at 9-under-par 135 with Midland's Kimberly Dinh, a University of Wisconsin golfer and amateur who set a tournament and course record with a 62 Monday and shot 73 in the second round, and 18-year-old shiny new professional Ashlan Ramsey of Milledgeville, Ga., who is fresh off playing in the Curtis Cup and followed a 67 with a 68.
"I'm going to go into the final round the same way as I did today – try to make as many birdies as I can," said Huffer, a former Notre Dame team captain who won a Cactus Tour event this spring and has three recent top 20 finishes on the Symetra Tour.
"The greens are rolling really well so it you put a good putt on it, it is going to go in. It's whoever makes the most birdies out there I think."
The trio at 135 has a five-shot advantage on Samantha Troyanovich of Grosse Pointe Shores and Olivia Jordan-Higgins of the United Kingdom. Troyanovich, a former University of Tulane golfer and Illinois Women's Open champion, shot 69, and Jordan-Higgins, a third-year pro who was 16th on the Symetra Tour money list last year, shot a second consecutive 70.
Grand Valley State golfer Kelly Hartigan of Lake Orion, who shot 68, Michigan State assistant golf coach Aimee Neff, who shot 71, recent MSU graduate turned pro Allyssa Ferrell, who shot 71, and Ashely Tait, a Symetra Tour player from Littleton, Colo., who shot 73, made up the group at 141, six off the lead.
Huffer, who finished in a tie for seventh here a year ago, said a triple-bogey at par 5 14th hole off a bad tee shot ruined her Monday round. She made birdie there Tuesday, and rolled in an eagle-3 on the ninth to power her 64. It was her personal best round by two shots.
"Once in a while you have to throw in a low number like this to catch up," she said. "I feel like I'm playing pretty well. Hopefully, I go low again tomorrow and see how it goes."
Ramsey, who at one point in 2013 was the top-ranked amateur golfer in the world by Golfweek Magazine and spent just one year at Clemson University before deciding she wanted to spend full time on golf, had a four-foot birdie putt on the par 5 18th that lipped out or she would have had the lead alone.
"I was really happy with the chip to there and just over-read the putt," said the ACC first-team selection and two-time collegiate tournament winner as a freshman whose teacher is Michigan native Todd Anderson of Sea Island, Ga.
"Taking the positive, I'm happy with the way I played today. I didn't play as solid, but still managed to score pretty well, which I felt was important for my confidence going into tomorrow. It's going to take some birdies."
Dinh, who will be a senior at Wisconsin, said her 62 was a tough act to follow.
"Today was a grind because I wasn't hitting my irons as well so I was missing greens and having to get up and down," she said. "I made a lot of par saves. All in all, I will take it. I'm still right there. I want to clean some things up and go out and post a good number. It's going to be fun."
Dinh has one college win and said she feels great about being tied for the lead.
"There's a lot of golf left," she said. "Tomorrow on the back nine there will be some more leaderboard looking."
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