Ally McDonald

Ally McDonald

GALLOWAY, N.J. Fulton’s Ally McDonald is in the hunt for her first LPGA victory today, but it will be against some formidable competition.

The former Mississippi State standout was tied for third place after Saturday’s second round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic in New Jersey.

McDonald shot back-to-back rounds of 67 and was at 8-under, just two strokes behind Korean standout Jeongeun Lee6, who made a 4-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole for a one-stroke lead.

Lee6 – one of six golfers named Jeongeun Lee to emerge from the South Korean pro circuit – won the U.S. Women’s Open last Sunday, with McDonald finishing in a tie for 10th, four strokes back.

McDonald, in her third season on the tour, opened Saturday’s round with an eagle on the par-4 first hole. “That was a crazy start,” she said. “I just tried to stay consistent.”

She added four birdies against two bogeys on the Bay Course at Seaview.

“In the final round, I’ll just keep the same gameplan,” she said. “There are certain holes where you need to be conservative and there are holes where you can be more aggressive. I hope to keep it rolling.”

McDonald’s finished sixth in the season’s first major, the ANA Inspiration in April.

Mariah Stackhouse shot a 67 on Saturday and held second place with a 133 total in her quest to become the first African-American woman to win an LPGA Tour event.

Three for three

McDonald shared third place with Lexi Thompson (70) and Nanna Koerstz Madsen (68) at 134. Thompson four-putted her 10th hole of the day – the same hole, No. 1, where McDonald had an eagle.

Madsen and McDonald will tee off at 11:30 a.m. CDT today, just ahead of Lee6 and Stackhouse. TV coverage will begin at 2 p.m. on the Golf Channel.

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