Korda Kupcho Final-Round Showdown on Tap at Meijer LPGA Classic | LPGA

Defending champion Nelly Korda leads the way at the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give after shooting a 6-under and 66 on Blythefield Country Club’s transition day beyond -18. The start of the Rolex No. 2 ratings got off to a slow start on Saturday, as it opened its tour with six straight seasons. But a bird on the seventh and an eagle on the eighth put some wind back into her sails as she turned. Korda went in holes 12 through 14, burying an eagle in the last hole to put an exclamation point on what had been a rough three day in Belmont, Michigan.

“I had a left-to-rider at 17 that I didn’t read very well, and I knew my hit at 18, when I got to it, would be left-to-rider and I gave it a little more than I could have imagined,” Korda said. But it was a perfect shot and it was great to hear the fans go off as well. That was really cool.”

This is the 14th time Korda has held the lead or shared the lead with 54 holes and in the previous 13 instances, she has won 7 times, most recently in the 2021 Women’s Pelican Championship. Given that this is Korda’s second competitive start since she was diagnosed with a blood clot in her left arm in March, a victory this week will be especially sweet. But Korda is grateful for the opportunity to compete and looks forward to another tough test as she battles it out against the five top 10 players in the Rolex standings who will chase her down on Sunday in Blythfield.

“So far, I’ve played really well and I hope to keep going,” said Korda, who hit 9 of 13 lanes and 15 of 18 greens in the third round. “There are still another 18 holes left, and there is still plenty to play for golf. I am glad to be playing again. This tournament always attracts a lot of the best girls in any kind of classification, so it’s great. Obviously, anything can happen and there is a lot Of the girls who are close to me and Jennifer, so I hope I can put together a good run tomorrow and see how it goes.”

Chevron Champion Jennifer Kupshaw sits second on her own and one shot from Corda at -17 after third-round 69. It was a tough shooting day for the 25-year-old – she hit only 6 lanes on Saturday – but she made it her goal to shoot the 3 under, and she was proud of her fight when things weren’t going their way. Despite a grueling Saturday, Kupcho is within easy reach of that second career win and knows it’s still anyone’s championship with 18 holes left to play.

“I guess I was kind of in control of what I could control. I obviously wanted to win but I didn’t have that day, so I was just trying to keep myself in it. There was a lot of golf left starting today, so,” Kupshaw said. I kind of tried to remind myself that there is more golf tomorrow.” “(Nelli) is a really good player. The top of the leaderboard are all good players. Anything can happen. Anything can happen on the back of a nine.”

Two-time Meijer LPGA Classic champion Brooke Henderson finished third alone at -15 with 11-time LPGA Tour winner Lexi Thompson fourth at -14. Thompson is looking for her first win since the 2019 ShopRite LPGA Classic presented Acer but isn’t looking at the championship leaderboard on Sunday.

“I honestly haven’t looked at the leaderboard in a while on the golf course,” Thompson said. “I just want to go out there and play my own game, control my emotions, and that’s all I can do. I don’t want to focus on anyone else. I know they’re going to play great so I have to play great with them.”

Leading champion Lydia Ko and Mingjie Li tied for fifth at -13, and first-time Rolex winner Athaya Tikol and 2020 Gainbridge LPGA over Boca Rio champion Madeleine Sagstrom are T7 at 12 under. Five players sit at -11 in Game Nine, including 2021 champion Evian Anna Nordqvist and Ireland’s Leona Maguire.

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