CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand – Former Husky Anya Alvarez is making the most of her rookie year on the LPGA Tour as she leads the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open heading to the final round.
Alvarez had six birdies in an unblemished 66 to take a two-stroke lead after Saturday’s second round of the New Zealand Women’s Open, resisting a late charge from world No. 4 Lydia Ko.
Alvarez, who started the day two shots from the lead, had two birdies on her outward nine and four more on the way home to move to 8-under 136 in the Ladies European Tour event at Clearwater Golf Club.
Ko is two back, while a three-way tie for third between Beth Allen, Kyu Jung Baek and Seon Woo Bae is three strokes back.
The 2011 graduate of Washington was a four-year letterwinner with five top-10’s during her collegiate career. She also had three third-place finishes and was the Dawgs top finisher at the 2008 Pac-12 Championships with a 14th-place result.
Alvarez will go for the win at the New Zealand Open on Sunday, which will finish late Saturday night in the Pacific Time Zone in Seattle.