In Gee Chun saw her lead chopped in half Saturday but she still managed to hold a three-stroke advantage entering the final round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Bethesda, Md.
Chun shot a 3-over 75 after opening with rounds of 64 and 69 at Congressional Country Club. The South Korean sits at 8-under 208 as she pursues her third career major title.
Lexi Thompson (70) and South Koreans Hye-Jin Choi (70) and Sei Young Kim (71) are tied for second at 5 under. Australia’s Hannah Green (72) is fifth at 4-under 212.
Chun had three birdies, four bogeys and a harmful double-bogey on the par-5, 16th hole during a shaky overall round.
“It was a little tough out there,” Chun said. “I’m so proud of myself because I hang in there after I had double bogey on 16. After I made two pars and then I’m so proud of that, yeah.”
Chun entered the round up six shots and was still leading by five before the problems on 16. One of her troublesome shots was an 8-iron that sailed over the green.
“I was trying to forget about it when it’s done,” Chun said of the hole.
Thompson carded four birdies and two bogeys. Three of the birdies came in a four-hole stretch on the back nine.
“Overall, it was a very steady day,” Thompson said. “I feel like there was two iffy holes. Basically No. 9 and No. 10 where I had some good saves in there. Overall very steady, and I took advantage of a few birdie putts that I had on the back nine and made a longer putt, I guess, on 15, whatever it was, for birdie.”
Choi also had four birdies and two bogeys. Both her bogeys were on the front nine.
“My goal today was to not be too aggressive and actually play safe, and I think that led to a good result,” Choi said. “It was very hot today, so it was difficult, but I’m glad to have finished with a good round today.”
Kim had two birdies — on No. 6 and No. 7 — and one bogey (No. 17) during a round of mostly pars.
“I’m just trying to best my play on the course,” Kim said.
Green had three birdies and three bogeys.
Jennifer Kupcho, who won the first major of the season — The Chevron Championship in the spring — is among four golfers tied for sixth at 3-under 213. She shot 74 on Saturday.
Kupcho had four birdies but hurt herself with six bogeys to fall five shots off the pace.
“Definitely far,” Kupcho said of her deficit. “Just go out there and play my game. I mean, I can’t really control anything, honestly, where I’m just here to be here. I’m exhausted. One more day, and then it’s an off week.”
Also tied for sixth are Jennifer Chang (73), Canada’s Brooke Henderson (73) and Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul (68).
U.S. Women’s Open champion Minjee Lee (73) of Australia is tied for 10th at 2-under 214 with Northern Ireland’s Stephanie Meadow (72).
World No. 1 Jin Young Ko (71) of South Korea is part of a seven-way tie for 12th place at 1 under.
No. 2 Nelly Korda (72) is tied for 29th place at 1-over 217.
–Field Level Media