Lexi Thompson (-15) tied the round of the day Saturday as she capped off her 6-under par round with an eagle in front of a huge gallery in Sylvania, Ohio.
With winds gusting up to 20 miles per hour in the afternoon, Highland Meadows Golf Club played a bit trickier on Saturday. Leader Kim struggled to adjust to the wind on her front nine with bogeys on the two par-3s, before she settled in on the back nine with four birdies coming in.
“It was a little tough to judge the distance,” Kim said of the conditions. “I mean, wind very gusting, on and off. So after that couple hole I miss second shot distance, and then I try to setting my mindset. And then just committed every shot, and, yeah, back nine I got a lot of birdie chance and then I make the four birdie.”
Thompson’s ball striking has been nearly flawless as she has only missed three greens in regulation this week, but she’s not putting too much pressure on herself to chase down Kim and capture win No. 12 on Sunday.
“Honestly, I'm not really thinking about any other players,” Thompson said. “It's hard to because you're playing with them and then there are leaderboards, but I try not to look at any leaderboards. I've just been trying to focus my game, my attitude, just everything I can control. I can't do anything about what they're doing. I can just control my game. If I make the birdies, great. Put the pressure on them. If I don't, it's golf. It's not my life.”
2019 LPGA rookie and 2019 U.S. Women’s Open champion Jeongeun Lee6 is well within striking distance for a Sunday charge at 12-under par.
“Tomorrow I just want to focus on my iron shots,” Lee6 said after a third-round 69. “Like I said, my tee shots were not that great, so I'm going to focus on where I want to land it and just control my iron shots, hit the best shots I can.”
Toledo native Stacy Lewis is tied for fourth alongside Carlota Ciganda and 2019 rookie Jennifer Kupcho at 11-under par.
THOMPSON GETS AFTER IT IN ROUND 3
Lexi Thompson fired a 6-under 65 on Saturday to -15 total, placing herself in solo second, one shot behind Republic of Korea’s Sei Young Kim heading into the final round. Thompson hit 17 of 18 greens for the three consecutive rounds, only having missed three greens in regulation, which she credits her two-week break.
“I played well my last five-week stretch and then took a really nice two weeks off. Just stayed at home, relaxed, hung out with my family and friends. I think that's what I needed, and to just come out with a fresh start,” said Thompson, seeking the 12th win of her career. “I just wanted to keep my swing in the groove because I was hitting it well before I took the break.”
Thompson’s front nine started with a bogey on the first hole but was followed up with birdies on Nos. 2, 4-5, 8-9 and then parred every hole after making the turn until she capped off her round with a closing 20-foot eagle putt on No. 18.
“I don't know what position I was at, but it was needed,” said Thompson after her round, of the eagle on 18. “I missed a few coming in, so those were needed as well. I mean, it's golf. I had a lot of shorter putts today than the other days. I got to the last one and I'm like, I'm not leaving it short. I'm going after it.”
WITH A WIN
Sei Young Kim would earn her ninth career victory and visit the winner’s circle for the fifth consecutive year
With her ninth career victory, Kim would tie Na Yeon Choi for the fourth most wins by a Korean player in LPGA history; only Se Ri Pak (25), Inbee Park (19) and Jiyai Shin (11) have more wins
With the $262,500 winner’s check, Kim would move to $6,811,480 in career earnings and from No. 41 to No. 39 on the Career Money List
Lexi Thompson would earn her 12th career LPGA Tour victory and move into a tie for 43rd on the All-Time Wins list, joining Clifford Ann Creed, Fay Crocker, Shirley Englehorn, Jane Geddes, Ruth Jessen and Stacy Lewis
Thompson would have her fourth multiple-win season, joining 2013, 2015 and 2017
With the $262,500 winner’s check, Thompson would move to $9,939,066 in career earnings and maintain No. 18 on the Career Money List behind No. 17 Catriona Matthew ($9,723,536)
Jeongeun Lee6 would earn her second career victory; she previously won the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open presented by the USGA
Kim, Lee6 and Thompson would become the season’s fourth player to have multiple wins this season, joining Jin Young Ko, Brooke Henderson and Sung Hyun Park (2)
Stacy Lewis or Jennifer Kupcho would join Lexi Thompson and Nelly Korda as American winners in 2019
Jennifer Kupcho would become the fifth Rolex First-Time Winner of the 2019 season and would join Jeongeun Lee6 as rookie winners in 2019
LAST CHANCE TO QUALIFY FOR THE AIG WOMEN’S BRITISH OPEN
The Marathon Classic presented by Dana is the final opportunity for LPGA players to earn a full exemption into the 2019 AIG Women’s British Open. After 72 holes, the top five LPGA Members that are not already exempt into the field will earn a spot into the season’s fifth major; provided they indicated to officials prior to the start of play that they would like to enter into the AIG Women’s British Open qualifier. In the event of a tie for the fifth position, the player ranked highest on the LPGA Official Money List as of the first round of the Marathon Classic will be the qualifier for the 2019 AIG Women’s British Open.
Through the third round in Sylvania the following players would punch their tickets to the major championship: Jennifer Kupcho, Pavarisa Yoktuan, Dana Finkelstein,Youngin Chun and Tiffany Joh.
Players will be competing on the Marquess’ Course at Woburn Golf Club in Buckinghamshire, England this year, competing for a share of the $4.5 million purse, a $1.25 million purse increase announced by the R&A earlier this week.
Rolex Rankings No. 12 Sei Young Kim (67-64-66)
Rolex Rankings No. 4 Lexi Thompson (66-67-65)
Rolex Rankings No. 9 Jeongeun Lee6 (66-66-69)