Leona Maguire’s 65 moves her into contention in Hawaii

Lydia Ko leads the way at 21-under as Cavan golfer enjoys an eagle two at the 15th

Leona Maguire of Ireland plays a tee shot on the 11th hole during the third round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship at Kapolei Golf Club in Kapolei, Hawaii. Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Leona Maguire of Ireland plays a tee shot on the 11th hole during the third round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship at Kapolei Golf Club in Kapolei, Hawaii. Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

 

Leona Maguire booked her place in the second last group for the final round of the Lotte Championship in Hawaii with a round of 65 which moved her to 16 under par, five shots behind leader Lydia Ko.

Maguire has been in a good vein of form lately as she chases a first win on the LPGA Tour and Friday’s round put her in fourth place on her own at Kapolei Golf Club on the island of Oahu with one round to play.

After opening with birdies at the first and second the 26-year-old Cavan native picked up further shots at the fifth, seventh and ninth. The single bogey of her round came at the 11th but she made up for that with a birdie at the 14th before the highlight of the round came at the Par 4 15th when she holed out with her second shot from the fairway for an eagle two.

However, even with a 65 Maguire sits five shots behind Ko who birdied four of her last five holes on Friday to get to 21 under par, one shot clear of Nelly Korda.

Ko, 23, has won 15 times on the LPGA Tour, but not since the Mediheal Championship in April 2018. Her bogey-free round featured two birdies on the front nine and five on the back nine thanks to her superb finish.

“I stayed patient. I felt like I had few good looks for birdies that just didn’t drop,” Ko said, according to New Zealand media website Stuff. “I had a stretch in the middle of the front nine where I had really long putts for birdies. So just trying to not make stupid mistakes and kind of keep it in control.

“Nice to finish up the round with two birdies on the last two holes. This is a golf course where even though it’s windy, it seems like everybody is playing so well, so you’re just trying to make your share of birdies.”

Korda, 22, already is a four-time LPGA Tour champion, most recently having won the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio in February. She produced six birdies on the front nine, including three in a row from the seventh to the ninth. Following her lone bogey at the Par 4 10th hole, Korda added four more birdies, including two in a row to finish.

For Stephanie Meadow, a third round of 73 saw her slip back to six under and into a tie for 63rd.

Collated third round scores from the Lotte Championship (USA unless stated, Par 72)

195 Lydia Ko (Nzl) 67 63 65

196 Nelly Korda 65 68 63

199 Yuka Saso (Phi) 64 64 71

200 Leona Maguire (Irl) 68 67 65

201 Amy Yang (Kor) 69 68 64

202 Sei-Young Kim (Kor) 67 68 67, Alexis Thompson 68 67 67, Hyo-Joo Kim (Kor) 68 65 69

203 Hannah Green (Aus) 70 67 66, Brittany Altomare 64 71 68, Ally Ewing 65 69 69, Wei Ling Hsu (Tai) 67 73 63, Sarah Schmelzel 69 69 65, Linnea Stroem (Swe) 69 67 67, Luna Sobron (Spa) 69 64 70

204 Brooke Henderson (Can) 68 68 68, Som-Yeon Ryu (Kor) 65 68 71, Ind-Bee Park (Kor) 71 66 67, Nicole Broch Larsen (Den) 68 70 66, Georgia Hall (Eng) 70 68 66, A-Lim Kim (Kor) 70 64 70, Klara Spilkova (Cze) 69 68 67

205 Hinako Shibuno (Jpn) 68 71 66, Rose Zhang 67 68 70, Paula Reto (Rsa) 69 67 69, Danielle Kang 68 69 68, Yu Liu (Chn) 68 69 68, Caroline Masson (Ger) 74 65 66, Mi-Hyang Lee (Kor) 67 68 70, Xiyu Lin (Chn) 69 72 64, Austin Ernst 69 68 68, Yealimi Noh 69 70 66, Matilda Castren (Fin) 71 69 65, Brianna Do 68 66 71, Esther Henseleit (Ger) 71 68 66

206 Jenny Shin (Kor) 69 70 67, Angela Stanford 69 70 67, Jennifer Chang 72 69 65, Lauren Coughlin 70 69 67

207 Jessica Korda 67 70 70, Su-Hyun Oh (Aus) 73 68 66, Jennifer Kupcho 68 69 70, Amy Olson 69 68 70, Stacy Lewis 66 70 71, Ind-Gee Chun (Kor) 68 69 70, Kanphanitnan Muangkhumsakul (Tha) 72 68 67, Jeong-Eun Lee (Kor) 69 71 67, Kelly Tan (Mal) 72 69 66, Celine Palomar-Herbin (Fra) 70 69 68

208 Jeon-Geun Lee (Kor) 69 72 67, Lizette Salas 71 68 69, Azahara Munoz (Spa) 69 68 71, Pernilla Lindberg (Swe) 73 67 68, Aditi Ashok (Ind) 69 69 70, Tiffany Chan (Hkg) 70 71 67, Mina Harigae 71 70 67, Alison Lee 70 67 71

209 Chella Choi (Kor) 70 70 69, Alena Sharp (Can) 71 66 72, Nam-Yeon Choi (Kor) 69 72 68, Hae-Ji Kang (Kor) 69 72 68, Lindsey Weaver 72 67 70

210 Jillian Hollis 70 69 71, Anne van Dam (Ned) 68 70 72, Stephanie Meadow (NIrl) 67 70 73, Haley Moore 70 71 69, Louise Ridderstroem (Swe) 70 71 69

211 Nasa Hataoka (Jpn) 71 69 71, Jing Yan (Chn) 75 66 70, Kristen Gillman 70 70 71, Gerina Piller 71 70 70

212 Giulia Molinaro (Ita) 72 69 71, Dana Finkelstein 73 68 71, Kyung Kim 69 72 71, Anne-Catherine Tanguay (Can) 72 69 71

214 Sarah Burnham 70 68 76

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