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Leona, Lydia Tied Atop CME Group Tour Event Leaderboard After Saturday | LPGA

With 18 holes left to play, Leona Maguire and Lydia Ko have cemented themselves as the highest two contenders for the CME Group Tour Championship at -15 general. Ko is gunning for her second Tour Championship victory and nineteenth Tour win, whereas Maguire is wanting so as to add a second title to her resume since changing into First-Time Rolex Winner at 2022 LPGA Drive On Championship.

It was virtually a profession day for Eire’s Maguire, who began the day seven pictures behind the 18- and 36-hole chief Ko. She completed with an unbeaten 9-under 63, one off the event document set by Ko within the second spherical in 2016, and two off her profession low. Maguire began out with two birdies on Nos. 1 and three, however kicked it into gear halfway by way of the spherical, racking up 5 in a six-hole stretch between holes 8 and 13.

“The outlet appeared huge, and I used to be attempting to hit it as shut as I may. Hit some very nice 5 and 6 hybrids on these few windy holes. I used to be simply referred to as in immediately,” stated Maguire, who made 12 birdies and no bogeys in her final 27 holes. “My caddy has been speaking for the final two weeks about persistence and persistence and they are going to let it go. Lastly, they did immediately, which was good.”

Maguire made two extra birdies on Nos. 16 and 17 to sleep within the third-round lead/co-lead for the second time in her Tour tenure, and first since profitable at Drive On. A win on Sunday would see Maguire surpass the $4 million mark in profession earnings with $4,328,359, because of the $2 million winner’s test, the most important in girls’s golf historical past.

“We’ll have to attend and see how dangerous it will get. Possibly a bit of rain, a bit of wind. There’s nothing I am not used to from Eire,” stated Maguire, who’s making her third look on the finish of the Tour season. “It is good to get a extremely low spherical beneath my belt immediately and simply attempt to exit and do the identical factor tomorrow.”

Ko had a slower Saturday after his bogey-free 66 on Friday. She was even on the day by way of her first 9 holes after two birdies and two bogeys, however made two birdies on No. 10 and on the par-5 seventeenth to place herself in prime place to grow to be solely the second participant to win the CME Group Tour Championship twice. With victory, Ko received her second Rolex Participant of the 12 months award, second consecutive Vare Award and the official silver medal for the 2022 season. Successful this event would give Vare and POTY honors three factors LPGA Corridor of Fame for Ko as nicely, bringing the Kiwi nearer to the 27 factors and necessary entry.

“It was a bit hotter immediately, however general, I nonetheless thought I performed actually arduous. A couple of putts right here and there that might, would, would have. However, you recognize, it was a kind of days the place possibly it wasn’t that totally different, apart from not benefiting from a number of the par-5s and possibly that is the few footage that made a distinction within the final couple. days,” stated Ko. “I nonetheless felt like I hit the ball actually arduous, and when it is windy, I really feel like your margin for error is rather a lot smaller. Even in case you do not you are hitting the larger pictures, it simply will get a bit of extra weighted. I believe that is simply what makes it tougher.”

Jeongeun Lee6 and Gemma Dryburgh sit in a tie for third at -10 general. Dryburgh, who performed his means into the CME Group Tour Championship after profitable the TOTO Japan Traditional, is in Sunday’s remaining group after a 3-under 69, seeking to problem the leaders in his her first look in Naples.

“Simply offers Japan confidence going into this week. Been swinging very well and placing nicely too, so simply getting all that confidence proper now,” stated Dryburgh. “And it was enjoyable to enter the fray. You by no means know what can occur tomorrow.”

A pair of main champions in Brooke Henderson and Anna Nordqvist spherical out the highest 5 at -9. 4 gamers sit tied for seventh at -8 general, together with 2022 Tour winners Hyo Joo Kim and Danielle Kang. Rolex Girls’s World Golf Course No. 1 Nelly Korda went residence on Saturday with a +1, 73 and is tied for twelfth at -6. Defending champion Jin Younger Ko shot her first spherical within the 60s this week, a 3-under 69, to sit down in a tie for fortieth with Florida native and 2018 champion Lexi Thompson.

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