THE COLONY (Texas) — Charley Hull started the back nine with a double bogey, but then settled down to save an even-par 71 on Saturday to share with Xiyu Lin the lead going into The Ascendant LPGAs final round.
Lin had missed a 15 foot birdie putt on her final hole that would have given herself the lead. Instead, she settled for a score of 69 to join Hull at 11 over 202 at Old American Golf Club.
However, on a sunny day in North Texas and firm turf, the final round will be wide open.
Lydia Ko bounced back after a double-bogey on the par-3 eleventh hole and made four birdies over six holes to post a 67. Celine Boutier shot a 66 with four birdies on the front nine. They were one shot behind.
Maddie Szeryk (a Canadian rookie to the LPGA) was another player who got back on track. She had six missed cuts in the first round and has yet not finished in the top-20.
Lin has already been runner up twice in this years Thailand and Cincinnati LPGA tournaments. She is now aiming for her first LPGA title, after great success in China.
I am obviously happy every week that I put myself in good places. Lin stated that she has been making cuts frequently and that there are weeks when she feels better and is higher up on the leaderboard. I keep telling myself how great I feel right now, and tomorrow, Im definitely in it, definitely have a shot. You just need to be patient.
Hull won the Ladies European Tour title last year, but its been six years since she won her only LPGA Tour title.
Hull, a Brit, had no complaints except for one swing. Even that didnt bother too much.
She said, I was swinging it quite nicely, so Im going to not let one bad swing affect my swing. It wasnt that bad. I hit the cart path and rolled into rough. Then it was a bit of an awkward drop because it was awkward. It was all good. I got out with a double, and it was on level.
Atthaya Thitikul, a 19-year-old Thai girl, started the third round behind two shots. She dropped three shots too early and it was difficult to recover. She made a birdie putt of 30-foot on the par-5 thirteenth and finished with pars to score a 72.
She was still three shots behind the leader. Thitikul can replace Jin Young Ko in the womens top ranking after her win last week at Arkansas.
Hull wasn’t the only one to regret one hole. Lydia Ko regretted a bad swing that resulted in a double. She claimed she was trying too cute with a hybrid.
Ko stated, That didnt make it too frustrating, and I knew that the next hole with a few good shots I could easily recover,
Lexi Thompson, who was unbeaten on the LPGA Tour for three years, still managed to stay in the hunt by posting a 69. A Lim Kim, a former U.S. Womens Open winner, was also in her group.