It was a clean card for Switzerland’s Albane Valenzuela on Friday at the Cognizant Founders Cup as the 25-year-old fired a bogey-free, 5-under 67 to move inside the top 10. The Stanford alum started the day on the par-4 10th hole and quickly made eagle on the par-5 12th to get to 2-under. After back-to-back pars on holes 13 and 14, Valenzuela birdied the par-3 15th, parring the next three holes to turn in 33. She made two more birdies on Nos. 1 and 2 and wrapped up her day with six consecutive pars to post a 67, which ties her lowest round of the 2023 season which she last shot during round two of The Chevron Championship.
“Definitely very happy with my round. Obviously, a little bit of a bumpy start yesterday. I was 3-over after 14 but managed to just finish with three birdies in my last five,” said Valenzuela. “I just tried to get on to the momentum into today, and felt even today when I was in tough spots I grinded it out and made some really good putts and managed to have a bogey-free round. Really proud of myself.”
This is Valenzuela’s fourth season on the LPGA Tour and her fifth start of the 2023 season. In her four previous appearances this year, she’s recorded one top-10 finish, a tie for fourth at The Chevron Championship. That is her career-best finish in a major championship, and it tied her career-best result on the LPGA Tour. Valenzuela credits that performance in Houston, Texas, as the reason for her bolstered confidence, saying that it has reminded her to trust in her ability and believe that she can always recover even when things might be going awry.
“I told Missy (Pederson, her caddie) the same thing yesterday after my double. Hey, at Chevron the first day I managed to get back to even par with three bogeys, a double. Just in general I trust my game, so even if one part fails, I feel like I can rely on the rest,” Valenzuela said of what she learned from her experience at Chevron. “I feel like now I'm much more calm on the course. A bad shot doesn't really affect me. Even when nerves kick in, I just feel like I have to embrace them and be excited about the opportunities that come in. I feel like now if I miss a shot I'm just excited about the next one.”