July 09. 2017: Katherine Kirk managed to ride her hot play from Friday into Saturday’s third round, and after a 7-under-par 65, she now leads the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic by four and is that much closer to her third LPGA Tour victory. India’s Aditi Ashok carded two-under-par 70 in the third round to tie at T31.
Kirk, who made nine birdies Saturday, admitted after the third round that she was trending in the right direction.
Kirk’s four-shot cushion is over Ashleigh Buhai, who is looking for her first LPGA TOUR victory. She fired a career-low round Saturday, a 7-under-par 65, and managed to bounce back from a bogey on her opening hole to steady the ship.
Buhai will be in the final pairing Sunday for the first time in her LPGA Tour career, and said her nerves will be steadied by the fact she knows Kirk very well. She’s also a multi-time winner on the Ladies European Tour and won already in 2017 on the Sunshine Tour.
Ayako Uehara of Japan and Jodi Ewart Shadoff of England are tied at 13-under par after Uehara fired a 7-under-par 65 and Shadoff was one higher, a 6-under-par 66. Shadoff, who was bogey-free Saturday, said she took advantage of some putts falling.
Seven golfers are a shot further back at 12-under, including Cristie Kerr – already a winner on tour in 2017 – Suzann Pettersen, and Tiffany Joh, who was off early Saturday and fired a 6-under-par 66.
Pettersen was bogey-free Saturday and is in the mix for her 16th LPGA Tour title.
Due to the threat of weather in the area again Sunday, the final round of the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic will begin at 9:30 a.m. ET, with the groups teeing off in threesomes.