HOUSTON  – Marian Barker of Lubbock leads the 2018 Women’s Senior Stroke Play Championship by nine shots after posting a two-round total of 74-76—150 on Tuesday at Northgate Country Club. Mission’s Stephanie Blount is in second place at 159.

Heading into Wednesday’s final round, Barker finds herself atop the leaderboard, a position with which she should be quite comfortable. She is a two-time champion of this event, winning back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009. She added another top-5 finish to her resume in last year’s championship, finishing fifth. She also won the 2011 Women’s Four-Ball Championship.

Barker labored through a rain-soaked and disjointed first round on Monday that featured two weather delays before its eventual suspension. However, she came out firing on all cylinders when play resumed Tuesday morning. She finished the round with a flurry of three birdies in five holes. Her first-round 74 gave her a five stroke lead before teeing off again in the afternoon for round two.

Barker’s encore performance was a solid afternoon round of 76. She shot a front nine total of 1-over-par 37 before stumbling a bit on the back with a 39. Blount rebounded from her first-round 84 to shoot a 75 in the afternoon frame, good for the low score of the round. Montgomery’s Marlene Summers and Houston’s Meg Christensen are tied for third place at 160 overall, 10 strokes behind Barker. Jan Rapp of Dallas rounds out the top five with a total score of 83-81—164.

Rapp’s score puts her in first place in the Super Senior Division for golfers between the ages of 65-70. She leads Kemberly Barrett of Woodway by 22 strokes heading into the final round. After not seeing a single red number over her first 25 holes of the championship, Rapp charged hard with four birdies in her final 10 holes Tuesday afternoon. Her second round score of 81 reflected her strong finish.

Meanwhile, in the Super Super Senior Division (71+), it is more of the same for Nannette Wheelis of Waco. The two-time defending Super Super Senior champion takes a two stroke lead into the final round. She fired identical rounds of 87 to help her take the lead over Houston’s Pam Almandoz. After returning her trophy on Monday morning, Wheelis will try to use a strong round Wednesday to help her bring it back home for a third consecutive year.

Wednesday’s final round tees off at 9 a.m. from Northgate CC. Click here for complete championship information, including final round pairings and full leaderboard.