Meadow slides down the board as Ko takes command at Founders

Adam McKendry
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Meadow slides down the board as Ko takes command at Founders

Stephanie Meadow (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Stephanie Meadow slid down the leaderboard on a tough third day at the Cognizant Founders Cup for the Jordanstown woman at Mountain Ridge Country Club in New Jersey.

The 29-year-old, who played solid golf in her opening two rounds to make the weekend, was looking for a strong third round to push herself up the standings but instead went the other way after a four-over 75.

Meadow is now tied-75th at three-over for the week and, more frustratingly, is currently projected to drop one place in the Race to CME Globe rankings to 102nd, aiming to break back into the top-80 to reclaim her playing rights for next season.

The former World Invitational champion never recovered from a horror start which saw her begin at the 10th – poor weather earlier in the week necessitated a two-tee start on Saturday – and drop four shots in her first five holes of the day.

Her first birdie came at the 15th, and she added another at the seventh, but further bogeys at the 17th and fourth undid that good work and leaves her playing catch-up simply to improve her order of merit placing.

At the top, Jin Young Ko is in a strong position to become only the fifth Korean golfer to reach double-digit wins on the LPGA Tour as she carries a four-shot lead into the final day in New Jersey at 13-under.

The World No.2 had four birdies and two bogeys in a third round 69 at Mountain Ridge and holds a comfortable advantage over Elizabeth Szokol, Yuka Saso, Lindsey Weaver and So Yeon Ryu with just 18 holes to play as she aims to go wire-to-wire.

Ko had to return to complete the final four holes of her second round early on Saturday morning due to the weather delays early in the week, but she didn’t mind the slightly longer day as she opened up her four-shot lead.

“I played four holes in the morning and I played 18 holes in the afternoon, and I had great round today and I play with Lindsey and So Yeon. I played first time with Lindsey and she’s great player and we had really fun on the course,” said Ko.

“I took a nap after four holes in the morning, and so I tried to feel fresh before the tee off in the afternoon. When I play on the course I can focus well. Like I know how do I play golf and how do I putt. I know well so, yeah, it’s fine.

“I don’t want to think about the win, I just want to think about my body or my swing or my putting. And I will have fun with my caddie, Dave Brooker. After tomorrow I will go back to Korea, so that’s going to be motivation for me.

“I’m a little tired, this week is my fourth in a row. But, yeah, I’m still playing fine and I’m enjoying it.”

Tandragee’s Olivia Mehaffey was in the same position as Ko, returning to complete her second round early on Saturday morning but, needing three birdies in her four holes to make the cut, she instead dropped three shots and missed the halfway mark at six-over. The former Curtis Cup ace will now turn her attentions to the Second Stage of LPGA Q-School in a couple of weeks’ time.

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