NAPLES, Fla. — Leona MaguireIreland had four consecutive birdies around the turn, and then added two more late for a 9 under 63, which allowed her to catch. Lydia KoCME Group Tour Championship, and set up a duel to win the richest prize for womens golf.
The winner of Sundays Tiburon golf club competition will be awarded $2 million
Maguire is one of 11 LPGA Tour first-time winners this year. However, $2 million in a single event would make up for the fact that Maguire is too far behind in the points race to be named LPGA player of year. Maguire has earned nearly twice as much in 23 previous events.
To start the third round, Ko led by five shots — seven shots more than Maguire — and made a mix of birdies and bunkeys that stalled her round. Maguire was one shot behind Ko, but she chipped in to tap-in on the par-5 17. She finished with a score of 70.
They were at 15-under-201 in what was a two-player race to win the $2 million.
They were five shots closer than anyone else. Jeongeun Lee6, a former U.S. Womens Open Champion, had a 68. Gemma Dryburgh from Scotland had a 69. They were at 206.
Sundays forecast was for rain and gusts of 20 mph (32 km/h)
Maguire said, Nothing Im new to from Ireland, when Maguire finished her round. Well see what Lydia does at the end of today, but ultimately, just go out and have fun, especially if its bad. Thats all you can do. We look forward for tomorrows final walk of the season.
Brooke HendersonHer slim hopes of being named player of the Year kept her alive. The Canadian, who was forced to withdraw last Wednesday due to a back injury had two eagles in her round 65 and was at 9 under 207.
To win player of the Year, Henderson must win the CME Group Tour Championship. Ko must finish third or worse.
If I could live another day like this tomorrow, she said.
Ko entered the week with a 1 point advantage over Minjee LeePlayer of the year. Lee, an Australian woman who won U.S. Womens Open in the USA and leads the LPGA money table, has fallen nine shots back and is almost certain to be eliminated.
Ko is certain to win Vare Trophy for having lowest average scoring. A win would increase her season earnings by over $4.3 million.
Nelly KordaPelican Golf Club winner Alicia Sullivan had to birdie her final three holes to secure a 73 which left her nine shots behind.