Leona Maguire retains one-shot lead at KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

Leona Maguire retains one-shot lead at KPMG Women’s PGA Championship
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SPRINGFIELD, N.J. — Leona Maguire birdied the final hole for her eighth straight round in the 60s and took a one-shot lead over fast-closing Jenny Shin on an unexpected sunny Saturday heading into the final round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

Maguire, the halfway leader who is looking for her second straight win and first major title, had a two-putt birdie to finish an up-and-down third round of 2-under 69. She has a 54-hole total of 7 under on a Baltusrol course that was tough, but gettable, after two days of intermittent rain softened the greens.

Full-field scores from the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

Shin matched the best round of the tournament with a bogey-free 66 that featured five birdies. A 30-year-old South Korean who has lived in the United States since she was nine, Shin has not won on the LPGA since 2016.

Stephanie Meadow of Northern Ireland, a close friend of Maguire, was alone in third place after a 68 put her at 5-under 208. First-round leader Lee-Anne Pace (70) of South Africa and Ruoning Yin (69) of China were three shots back, and Lauren Coughlin (68) and world No. 1 Jin Young Ko (69) of South Korea were another stroke off the pace on a day in which forecast storms never developed.

With the threat of severe weather for the final round on Sunday, the PGA announced play will start at 8:15 a.m. ET, and the field will be grouped in threesomes playing off both nines. The leaders are scheduled to tee off at 10:38 a.m., with Maguire and Meadow playing with Shin.

Xiyu Lin, who started the round a shot behind Maguire, slipped to 2-under 211 along with Americans Megan Khang and Mina Harigae and Yuka Saso of Japan.

Rose Zhang’s third round at the KPMG Women’s PGA wasn’t shaping up to be anything magnificent, until her closing hole.

Rose Zhang, who won in her professional debut earlier this month, got herself into contention at 1 under with a 68, finishing with a tap-in eagle at the par-5 18th. The 20-year-old did a television interview, but walked away from media after her round.

Several players were within striking distance heading into the third round, but struggled.

Rookie Celine Borge of Norway shot 74 and was at 212, a shot ahead of Brooke Henderson (72) of Canada and world No. 5 Minjee Lee (75) of Australia.

Mel Reid of England, who was a shot off the lead after a second-round 67, needed 10 extra shots. Well, make that nine. She was assessed a one-stroke penalty for illegally lifting her ball on the fifth hole. She marked it and didn’t realize it was not on the green. She was at 215 with Gina Kim (74).

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