CLIFTON, NEW JERSEY | The greatest rounds glimpse uncomplicated, practically easy. That’s what admirers at Higher Montclair Country Club saw on Saturday from 29-year-old Madelene Sagstrom. The Swede shot a 63 on Thursday at the Cognizant Founders Cup and adopted it up with a 2-less than par 70 on Friday. But both equally of all those looked like function. The 5-below par 67 Sagstrom shot on Saturday – the least expensive spherical of a soggy and foggy day – looked as clean as functioning h2o.
Starting off a few back of Minjee Lee, who had a 63 of her very own on Friday, Sagstrom received off to a very hot start with birdies on Nos. 1, 2, and 4. Then came a string of seemingly regime pars – fairways and greens with properly struck putts that rolled to in uncomplicated vary for a participant who says small putts are the strongest section of her recreation. The subsequent birdie came at 12, the short par-5, exactly where Sagstrom attained the green in two and two-putted. She did the very same on the par-5 14th – fairway, inexperienced, and two putts for birdie. She didn’t yawn, but only due to the fact the rain set just sufficient of a nip in the air to hold absolutely everyone awake and relocating.
The only hint at a probable bogey came at the complicated par-4 16th in which Sagstrom joined extra than 50-percent of the industry in lacking the narrow fairway. Soaked rough designed it practically not possible to maintain the elevated green. She strike a great shot that launched to the back again fringe, but her pitch shot seemed like it could go in. The ball caught the right edge of the hole right before trundling four ft previous, a putt Sagstrom made like a faucet-in.
Two regimen pars to end and she starts the closing round a shot out of the guide and searching for her second profession victory.
“I consider I experienced excellent quantities into the pins,” Sagstrom stated. “When you have the best quantity, you can hit entire photographs and will not have to manipulate it much too much. That is a great assurance strengthen. And then I hit some genuinely good putts. Strike a great putt on a person, hit a definitely fantastic eagle putt on two, and then I chipped in on 4. I’m not sure if that counts, but it counted on the scorecard. Just nice momentum realizing that you are like type of a minor little bit of forward and can just engage in cost-free golfing.
“It’s just just one of these rounds that I’ve been hunting for. It felt easy. It felt like I was not making an attempt, but also wasn’t giving myself too considerably grief when I was missing a putt or lipped it out. I experienced a great deal of good odds, and my putter was incredibly hot in the beginning but then type of cooled down, but I was not acquiring upset. People rounds are definitely nice to have under your belt. And I think that’s a excellent confidence improve to have with me tomorrow because tension is heading to be increased tomorrow.”
When you observe Sagstrom hit towering tee photographs and crisp, stable irons with a golf swing that should really be put on a loop in each individual golfing-coach’s business office, you wonder what could perhaps be holding her back again? This player appears like she ought to win just about every yr and be a contender in all the majors.
Check with her what she thinks is keeping her back and she defers. But there is one answer that no just one is eager to confess. She’s good, and not just in a college or university-degree and would make-smart-investments form of way. Sagstrom is the closest we have on the LPGA Tour to an mental, an intensely curious, deep-imagining, veracious reader who just concluded a book termed “The Chimp Paradox.” It is a psychological idea devised by Professor Steve Peters which postulates means of running the chimp in each and every human’s brain. It is also just one of several esoteric titles in Sagstrom’s library.
“I have to study non-fiction,” she explained. “Because if I read fiction, I cannot place it down and then suddenly I’m up all evening.”
Brilliance isn’t normally a detriment in golf. In Gee Chun is a math genius and appears to deal with her head as you would count on – in a methodical and logical way. But Sagstrom will communicate to you about almost everything from comparative religious philosophies to the effects of Roman imperialism on present day governments. And that can be a problem.
When Byron Nelson was serving to Tom Watson with his activity, Watson, who has an insatiable curiosity, requested a single concern after another. Eventually, Nelson mentioned, “Tom, there are two forms of golfers: people who have to have to know a minimal, and people who need to have to know it all. Which do you believe is less complicated?”
“I feel I like to know it all and then I like to pick what to aim on,” Sagstrom reported. “I like to know anything about my personal match, notably just from my coach, but acquiring it, I like to choose what I believe. The more understanding I have, the far more I can form of nitpick it and figure out what is effective for me and what isn’t going to do the job for me.”
Tiger Woods was that way. So was Annika. Dustin Johnson was the extreme reverse.
In which Sagstrom fits into that continuum has yet to be made the decision. Sunday at Founders could possibly be a great position to uncover out.