Thompson leads by 1 in Mexico
Guadalajara, Mexico (SportsNetwork.com) - Lexi Thompson fired a 5-under 67 on Saturday and moved one stroke clear of the field after three rounds of the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.
Thompson, who won the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia one month ago, finished 54 holes at 13-under-par 203. She will go for her third LPGA Tour title on Sunday at Guadalajara Country Club.
I.K. Kim carded a 67 of her own to move into second place at minus-12. Stacy Lewis also shot 67 and was alone in third place a 11-under-par 205.
So Yeon Ryu, who shared the second-round lead with Anna Nordqvist and Pornanong Phatlum, managed a 1-under 71 in round three. Ryu was alone in fourth at minus-10, while Nordqvist and Phatlum both carded 72s and shared fifth place at 9-under-par 203.
Thompson started her round with a birdie on No. 2 and that created a 5-way tie for the lead. After Phatlum also birdied the second to move to minus-10, Thompson converted a birdie chance on the par-4 fourth to join Phatlum in the lead.
Phatlum faltered to a double-bogey on the fourth and that handed the lead to Thompson. Phatlum failed to get back to 10-under the remainder of the round.
Thompson drained her third birdie of the day at the par-4 seventh. That gave her a 2-stroke lead over Phatlum and Lizette Salas.
Around the turn, birdied the par-5 10th to push her advantage to three. Kim and Ryu trimmed the deficit to two, but Thompson answered with a birdie on the 14th. That got her to 13-under, and she ended there after finishing with four pars in a row.
"It gives me confidence going into tomorrow, but I know there's a lot of great players right behind me, and I know I have to play well. I know I have to shoot another 4- or 5-under tomorrow," said Thompson, who held the lead going into the final round at both of her previous wins. "I'm just going to go out with the same attitude and just commit to every shot."
Kim grabbed a share of the lead early on with birdies at the first and third. However, she gave those shots back as she bogeyed Nos. 4 and 6.
The 2010 champion bounced back with a birdie on the seventh and another at the 10th to move to minus-9.
Kim birdied he 14th to briefly get within two. After Thompson birdied the 14th as well, Kim climbed within one of the lead thanks to birdies on the 17th and 18th.
"Winning is amazing, but, like I said, for me, just being able to play golf and just have fun, that's the first thing. If I can win twice, I mean, why not, I think it would be really great," said Kim, who could become the first two-time winner of this event. "I had a good start, I made birdie on one and two, and I think that kind of helped going forwards. Basically I really like this golf course. I have a good feeling for the course. It's just nice to see the result."
NOTES: The third round was completed despite a 23-minute weather delay ... Final round tee times were moved up two hours ... Thompson has won two of the three times she led after 54 holes.
11/16 20:17:10 ET