Lexi Thompson Stays in Command of the L.P.G.A.’s CME Group Tour Championship
NAPLES, Fla. — Lexi Thompson has control of the CME Group Tour Championship, as well as Ariya Jutanugarn is actually in control of just about everything else.
Thompson’s four-under-par 68 on Saturday pushed her to 16 under after three rounds of the Tour Championship, the L.P.G.A.’s season-ending event. She maintained the three-shot lead she had through the second round, with Nelly Korda sitting alone in second place after Saturday’s round at Tiburon Golf Club. Thompson was six shots ahead of Carlota Ciganda, who had sole possession of third place. Korda shot her second consecutive 67 to get to 13 under, as well as Ciganda grinded out a 69.
Thompson, 23, has been nearly flawless This particular week. Her only dropped shot of the tournament came Saturday when she made bogey at the par-4 fourth hole, then put together 5 birdies over the remainder of her round.
“Golf is actually all about momentum,” Thompson said.
For the week, Thompson has had 14 birdies, one eagle as well as the one bogey. She has also been very poised, finding rhythm with an old putter as well as having her brother, Curtis, as her caddie.
“I just tried to keep the same attitude as I did the last two days,” Thompson said. “Curtis kept me nice as well as relaxed. He’s always cracking jokes out there. the idea’s been a nice relaxing week just having him on the bag as well as having all my family as well as friends out here supporting me.”
If Thompson hangs on Sunday, she will have her first win of the season.
If Jutanugarn keeps things together, she will leave with plenty of prizes as well.
Jutanugarn will start her final round 10 shots back although leading the projected Race to the CME Globe standings as well as in position to claim the $1 million bonus for winning the L.P.G.A.’s season-long points race — which would likely be her second in three years. Jutanugarn already has clinched player of the year, as well as is actually almost mathematically assured of winning the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average on tour in 2018.
“I did a pretty not bad job. I didn’t think about in which at all,” Jutanugarn said of the Globe race as well as what is actually at stake This particular weekend. “Yesterday I thought about in which too much, worrying about in which.”
The Vare Trophy isn’t hers yet, although the idea would likely take the most improbable of outcomes for in which to slip away coming from Jutanugarn inside final round of the season. The two closest players to Jutanugarn inside season scoring standings are Minjee Lee as well as Jin Young Ko; either of them would likely have to beat Jutanugarn, the entire world’s No. 1 player, by about 30 strokes on Sunday to pass her inside Vare race.
Korda had an eventful day with more birdies than pars — 8-7 — although with three bogeys in there as well. So Yeon Ru (69 for the third straight day) as well as Marina Alex (71) are tied for fourth at nine under, as well as Lydia Ko shot a bogey-free 68 on Saturday to move into a tie for sixth at eight under with Brittany Lincicome (73).
Amy Olson, the first-round leader, made three double-bogeys on her way to a 76, leaving her in a tie for 16th as well as 11 shots off Thompson’s lead.