SYRACUSE By Olivia Jordan-Higgins' account, the putt on the par-three 12th hole that vaulted her into control of the Symetra Tour's Credit Union Classic during Satuday's second round at Drumlins Country Club traveled 45 feet before it toppled into the cup.
That distance could grow a lot longer - or at least more meaningful - in the years ahead if Jordan-Higgins is able to translate her two-stroke lead into a victory on Sunday, weather permitting.
While so many of the other first-round leaders struggled to find consistency on a tough Drumlins East layout, Jordan-Higgins, a native of Jersey in the Channel Islands near Great Britain, recorded six birdies in a four-under-par 67 following her opening 68 on Friday.
So at seven-under-par 135, Jordan-Higgins leads by two over Megan McChrystal, who burst from the middle of the pack in the morning with a tournament-best 65.
First-round leader P.K. Kongkraphan, who won in New Hampshire a week ago, is third at 138 after an up-and-down 72. Other than McChrystal or Kongkraphan, no one in the field is within less than five shots of Jordan-Higgins heading into the final round.
Drumlins East proved much more difficult in the second round, as just 13 players stood under par at day's end after 23 began the day in red figures. Firm, fast fairways and greens would frustrate most of the field, with two big exceptions.
Going off in the morning, McChrystal, a third-year-pro from Florida who ranks 96th on the Symetra Tour money list, birdied three of her first five holes. Seven straight pars followed, but she closed with a rush of four more birdies, with the bogey on 17 her lone blemish.
Posting that 65 just after the leaders teed off, McChrystal watched as a series of challengers fell away. Kendra Little took the lead at six under at the turn, only to double-bogey 11 and finish with a back-nine 39 to fall back to two under, tied for fourth.