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Saturday, June 12, 2021

Maguire hopes fade ahead of KPMG Women’s PGA finale

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Leona Maguire posted a six-over par round of 76 as her Major hopes dwindled on moving day at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

Trailing leader Sei Young Kim by six strokes starting round three at Aronimink Golf Club, the Cavan professional carded six bogeys and failed to find a birdie before falling to a share of 55th at eight-over par.

The report card shows that Maguire managed to hit 10 of 18 greens in regulation and needed 34 putts to get home, figures she’ll hope to improve to maximise her finish on Sunday in Pennsylvania.

Where Maguire fell to plus-eight, leader Kim extended her advantage atop the board courtesy of a three-under par round of 67.

The South Korean is at seven-under par, two strokes clear of Brooke Henderson and Anna Nordqvist, and will try to win it Sunday on a rare early-morning tee time.

“I wouldn’t say I’m nervous, but I’m also excited about going into the final day,” Kim said.

The tournament was delayed three months because of the coronavirus pandemic, landing its final round smack on a packed sports Sunday. The PGA of America had to get creative with the tee times with NBC having other programming commitments on the weekend. Kim, Henderson and Nordqvist tee off at 8:49am and the last group goes off at 9:16am – 2.16pm Irish time.

“The only thing I have to keep in mind is that earlier tee times will be a little chillier temperature-wise, so I’ll make sure I have my hand warmers and be ready to play tomorrow,” Kim said.

Kim was runner-up at the 2015 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and tied for second at the Evian Championship in 2018. Kim held the 54-hole lead at a major once, at the 2015 ANA Inspiration, where she finished tied for fourth.

Henderson, who won the 2016 Women’s PGA Championship, tied her career-best 18-hole score at a major championship with a 65 to stay within striking distance. Henderson had five birdies for a bogey-free round.

“Sometimes it’s hard to believe that I’m a major champion,” Henderson said. “But definitely in times like this it gives me a little bit of confidence, and I’m excited to try to do it again tomorrow.”

Nordqvist, who had five birdies and three bogeys, shot a five-under 68 as she tries to win her third major championship.

Inbee Park is three strokes behind the leader and Bianca Pagdanganan shot a 65 for the second straight day to rally her way into fifth at three-under.

Full scoring HERE

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