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Pauline Roussin-Bouchard feeling good after firing 66 to take Q-Series lead

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A day after hitting all 18 greens in regulation, Pauline Roussin-Bouchard had a goal of doing the same Saturday in the third round of LPGA Q-Series in Mobile, Alabama. Through nine holes on Magnolia Grove’s Falls Course, she was on track.

“And then on 10, I put my ball in the bunker on the right side with my driver, and so it was obviously almost unplayable. … I had a good bogey,” said Roussin-Bouchard, who holed a 15-footer for her only bogey in an otherwise blemish-free round of 5-under 66.

The Frenchwoman, who turned pro this past summer after two All-American seasons at South Carolina, closed her round with consecutive birdies, and at 12 under, she leads Hye-Jin Choi by a shot entering Sunday’s fourth round, which will mark the halfway point of the 108-hole qualifying event.

A cut to the low 70 players and ties will be made after Sunday, and the players who advance will compete in 72 more holes beginning next Thursday at Highland Oaks Golf Club in Dothan, Alabama.

Roussin-Bouchard’s 66 matched the low round of the day between both courses. Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul, this year’s money winner on the Ladies European Tour, also shot 66 on the Falls to move to T-3 at 10 under. Hinako Shibuno climbed to T-25 at 4 under after her 66 on the Crossings Course.

“I feel good,” said Roussin-Bouchard, who won in just her second pro start in August on the LET before medaling at last month’s Stage II of Q-School. “You know, I just do my own thing and, I don't know, I'm just surrounded by amazing people, and I just feel good in this environment. I guess I'm just trying to live the moment because I've been practicing and preparing myself for it.”

Just one of the seven current college players is currently inside the top 40 and ties, which will receive LPGA status after the conclusion of Q-Series. That is Arizona’s Vivian Hou, who is T-19 at 5 under. Arkansas’ Brooke Matthews and Duke’s Gina Kim are each 1 under, a shot outside the top 40 and ties.

Linn Grant, Andrea Lee, Mariah Stackhouse and Sierra Brooks are among the names below the top 70 and ties cut line entering Sunday.