Sarah Sasse, 23, of Lincoln, Neb., is in a three-way tie for the lead among the early finishers at the U.S. Womenís Amateur. She birdied four consecutive holes during her round Monday. Sasse is planning to go to the LPGA Tourís qualifying school later this month.

 

Talk a little bit around your round today.
This has been one of the weirdest rounds of golf that I have ever played. I had 25 putts.

 

The first day I got here, I was playing a practice round, I literally was crying when I got off the golf course, because I probably am one of the shortest hitters in this field and I was thinking, ďthis is my fourth Am, and Iíve never played a golf course that is going to play as long as this one."

 

I called my dad and told him I couldnít score on this golf course, and he told me, you know what, you just go out there and do what you need to do. Hit your drives down the fairway, and if you need to, turn all the par 4s into par 5s.

 

So that was my plan today, was just to come out here and try to break 80. I literally thought if I shot anything under 80 that I would have played pretty well because thereís only seven or eight holes out here where I donít have a wood into the green. Itís difficult to score. I maybe hit only six greens today, but when I had a hole I could reach, I took advantage.

 

All day, I was thinking about the U.S. Womenís Open, and how Hilary Lunke was getting up and down like a mad crazy woman. That was pretty inspiring, her being one of the shorter hitters, winning the biggest tournament in womenís golf. I thought, if she can do it, I can do it.

Iím kind of disoriented right now because of what I just did. Maybe Iíll shoot 80 tomorrow, or maybe Iíll shoot 85. Iím feeling pretty good, because I proved something to myself. Iím going to Q school later this month, and some of the courses are going to be long. I think I needed to give myself that confidence that I can still score on these lengthy golf courses.

 

Normally a real good putter?
My short game is usually pretty good, but thatís not how I typically score. I donít really make mental mistakes. I usually hit it pretty straight. My irons are fairly accurate, so when I do have a short iron into the green, I tend to have birdie opportunities.

 

Every time itís not a long hole, youíre going straight up hill. It was difficult. I havenít had a display of short game like that in a long time.

 

Whatís the difference today?
I usually grind a lot out there on the golf course. I decided Iím not going to grind. I want to go out and enjoy my last go at amateur golf, and just have a good time. I think that attitude, and not putting pressure on myself, really helped me relax over my putts today. I havenít been this relaxed putting in a long time, and thatís probably why I was hitting my lines and not tensing up.

 

Best finish in the Womenís Amateur?

This is the monkey-on-my-back tournament. Iíve never made it past the first round.

 

Being one of the short hitters in the game?

You always see the long hitters winning. The longer hitters tend to dominate. Itís a lot easier when youíre hitting wedges instead of 4-irons.

 

I think it really helped today having the Womenís Open in my mind. Knowing that someone has done it really was inspiring.

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