Maguire slips back at BMW Ladies Championship in South Korea

Adam McKendry
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Maguire slips back at BMW Ladies Championship in South Korea

Leona Maguire (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

A disappointing one-over 73 in her third round in Busan, South Korea saw Leona Maguire lose more ground at the BMW Ladies Championship as her hopes of keeping the LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year race alive seem to be all but over.

Needing a top-six finish at LPGA International Busan, the Cavan woman is currently tied for 55th after four bogeys and three birdies left her one-under for the tournament. Therefore, it looks like ANA Inspiration champion Patty Tavatanakit will be handed the Louise Suggs Trophy with two events to spare unless Maguire can claw back at least 11 shots to break back into the top-six in her final round.

Any chances of her making a remarkable comeback and winning the event are certainly over, though, with the 26-year-old 17 shots adrift of Hee Jeong Lim, who holds a four-shot advantage over Jin Young Ko and Na Rin An at 18-under for her three rounds.

As for Maguire, she will likely play her final round in Busan just looking to boost her Race to CME Globe standing as she is currently projected to fall to 16th in the season standings with only one more event prior to the Tour Championship. It was a struggle on day three, though, the Slieve Russell ace starting at the 10th and getting off to a positive start with a birdie on 12, but a bogey at the 18th was the precursor to an inconsistent back nine that dropped her down the field.

Birdies at the fourth and sixth cancelled out bogeys on the second and fifth, but her closing bogey came at the seventh, which meant she would sign for her worst round of the week and dashed her slim hopes of keeping the Rookie of the Year race going. Meanwhile, a third round 65 from Lim has her in a strong position to close out a victory on home soil as she carded seven birdies in a bogey-free effort that has her four shots ahead of fellow Koreans Ko and An with just 18 holes to play.

World No.2 Ko continued her surge up the leaderboard with a five-under 67 on Saturday, bringing her into a tie for second at 14-under alongside first round leader An, who carded a 69 on day three. One shot further back at 13-under, Hae Ran Ryu and Danielle Kang cannot be counted out after rounds of 67 and 69 in their third rounds respectively, with Minjee Lee and In Gee Chun just hanging onto their coattails at 12-under – the mark Maguire would need to be on to finish in the top-six currently.

The European Solheim Cup star tees off her final round in Busan at 1:16am Irish time from the 10th tee.

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