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Munoz (69) continues to build toward Solheim Cup return

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DALY CITY, Calif. – Azahara Munoz continues to find the game and confidence that made her an LPGA winner, Solheim Cup stalwart and NCAA individual champion.

With a 3-under 69 Thursday, she moved into early contention at the Mediheal Championship, two shots off the lead.

Munoz, who endured hard times working through hand surgery and a thyroid malady the last few years, has already recorded four finishes of T-6 or better this season.

She was sharp again Thursday, hitting all but two fairways and all but three greens in regulation.

“Even my caddie thought it was the best golf I’ve played in I don’t know how long,” Munoz said. “I hit like every shot flush, on the number. It was really stress free. I wish I could have made more putts, but the greens are tricky out here.”


Full-field scores from the LPGA Mediheal Championship


Munoz, a Spanish veteran of three Solheim Cups, didn’t make the European team that lost to the Americans in Iowa two years ago. She said it motivated her to make the team going to Scotland this year.

“It was very difficult, and it hurt a lot,” Munoz said. “Everybody was like, 'You should be a pick,’ but nobody should be a pick. You either qualify, or it’s up the captain. If you don’t qualify, I don’t think anyone has the right to say 'I should have been picked.’

“I really wanted to be there, but everything happens for a reason. I worked harder.”

Munoz is second on the European Solheim Cup world rankings list.

“I want to have the attitude that I will be there,” she said. “I want to believe I will be there. Obviously, if I do the right things, I will be there. That’s the goal, but I don’t want to obsess over Solheim. I want to take things day by day. If things keep going the way they are going, I will be in Scotland.