Leona Maguire described her four-under 68 in the third round of the Meijer LPGA Classic as the best she has played this week despite staying put in a share of ninth in Belmont, Michigan.
The Cavan woman hit 15 greens in regulation on her way to carding five birdies and one bogey on day three at Blythefield Country Club, with back-to-back 68s moving her up to 11-under for the week and keeping her in the same spot she was at the halfway stage.
Although she is close to the top of the leaderboard, she will either need a big round or the leaders to come back to her on Sunday if she is to claim a second LPGA Tour win as she enters the final day seven shots off leader Nelly Korda, with the World No.2 one shot ahead of Jennifer Kupcho.
But Maguire was left feeling positive after her Saturday display and believes if she can post an early number in the final round then she could have a chance.
“I probably played the best I played all week. Hit my irons nicely and gave myself a lot of chances,” said the Slieve Russell ace. “I didn’t take advantage of the par-fives, so I need to do that tomorrow and try and post a low one.”
After four pars in a row to start, Maguire got motoring with a birdie at the par-three fifth and added another – despite her frustration at a lack of scoring on the par-fives – at the par-five eighth before the turn.
Two more came to start the back nine, again ironically at the par-five 10th and then par-three 11th, before she dropped her only shot of the day at the par-three 13th, however a closing birdie at the par-four 17th moved her back into the top-10.
The woman they’re all chasing down is Korda, who continues to defy expectations as she makes her return from a blood clot in her arm as she eagled her final hole – her second of the day – on her way to a six-under 66 to claim a one-stroke lead at 18-under.
Kupcho kept pace with a three-under 69 to sit second at 17-under to stay in the final group on Sunday, with Brooke Henderson carding a 67 to move up into third and still in the mix with one round to play at 15-under-par.