It wasn’t the moving day Leona Maguire had in mind but in a typically dogged display, the Cavan professional fought to the very end, landing a superb eagle on 18 to keep her hopes alive at the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship.
The 26-year old had carded a double and a triple bogey in her outward half of 41 but birdied 14 and 15 before landing a huge eagle putt at the final green in a two-over round of 74 for a four-under tally.
— Leona Maguire (@leona_maguire) June 13, 2021
“Tough day but I never gave up,” said Maguire, who shares 11th ahead of the final day. “Fun to finish with an eagle and looking forward to one more day.”
Maguire managed to hit 13 greens in regulation on Saturday and needed 31 putts but she’ll be hoping for much better on Sunday if she’s to reel in Min Lee, five shots ahead of Maguire after a four-under 68 left the Taiwan golfer two clear of the field at nine-under par.
Coming off a Symetra Tour victory, Lee leads former Stanford player Lauren Kim and Finland’s Matilda Castren who trail at seven-under.
“I just tried to play my game and tried to be smart on the golf course, because the golf course is very hard,” Lee said. “There are some pin placement that you want to be on the fat side of the green if you miss it. So I was very focused on it.”
The 26-year-old Lee, from Taiwan, is trying to win for the first time on the LPGA Tour. She won the Mission Inn Resort and Club Championship two weeks ago in Florida on the developmental Symetra Tour, putting her in position to become the first player to follow a Symetra Tour victory with an LPGA Tour win in her next start.
“I don’t really thinking about making a record or breaking a record or something,” Lee said. “I just try to play my game. I play well, that’s good and everything comes together.”
Lee had a 9-under 207 total at Lake Merced as the tour completes its San Francisco Peninsula doubleheader after the U.S. Women’s Open last week at nearby Olympic Club.
Castren shot a 69, and Kim had a 71.
“I really like it,” Castren said about Lake Merced. “It’s very similar to Olympic that we played last week, so I feel like that was a really good prep for me coming into this week.”
Switzerland’s Albane Valenzuela, another former Stanford player, had a 68 to join 2000 U.S. Women’s Open champion A Lim Kim (69) at 6 under.
Second-round leader Danielle Kang closed with a double bogey for a 74 that left her at 5 under with Lindsey Weaver (69), Jenny Shin (70), Jennifer Kupcho (70) and Jenny Coleman (71).
Lydia Ko (70) was 4 under with ANA Inspiration winner Patty Tavatanakit (71), 18-year-old Bay Area player Lucy Li (70), Ashleigh Buhai (70) and Yealimi Noh (71).
- Full scoring HERE