GRAND RAPIDS (Michigan) • American Lexi Thompson, who is seeking to rebound from a play-off loss last week, fired a five-under 64 to grab a slim lead after a rain-hit third round at the Meijer Classic on Saturday.
She reached a 196 total and leads by one stroke over a myriad of golfers including South Koreans Park Sung Hyun and Jenny Shin, Lee-Anne Pace of South Africa and Brooke Henderson of Canada.
"It was just a matter of staying patient," said Thompson. "I knew I was hitting it well on the front nine, I just wasn't making the birdies.
"But I hit it well all day, so it was all a matter of hitting the shots closer and I guess just taking advantage of (the par-five) No. 11, reaching that one in two, and making a few putts for birdie."
Thompson, who had six birdies and one bogey, also had a one-shot lead starting the final round at last week's Manulife LPGA Classic in Ontario. She enjoyed a two-shot cushion with two holes to play before three-putting both to fall into a three-way play-off. Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn eventually won and became the world No. 1.
"I've been focusing on staying positive and making sure I do my routine on every shot and making sure I'm fully relaxed over my shots and in between shots," Thompson, an eight-time LPGA Tour winner, told Golf Channel.
"I sometimes overthink things. I've been focusing on staying positive."
On Saturday, the golfers had to endure a two-hour rain delay at the Blythefield Country Club course.
Pace dominated a course softened by rain with a 61. Park shot a 62 and Shin a 63.
Henderson, who led after each of the first two rounds, fell out of first place after a 67 but remained within striking distance of her first win of the year.
The course was reduced to a par 69 after heavy rains turned the par-five fifth hole into a par-three because of pools of water.
Pace, 36, began the day at two under but picked up five shots on the front nine with three birdies and an eagle. After a bogey to start the back nine, she made another eagle at No. 11.
"I played really nicely," she said. "My irons were really good. I was looking at birdie on almost every hole, which was nice."
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS