Lexi Thompson grabs lead at US Women’s Open, NJ teen Megha Ganne still in hunt

SAN FRANCISCO — Lexi Thompson wanted to get her thoughts proper earlier than she might her golf sport again and now could be in place to win her first second profession main.

Thompson shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 on Saturday to take the lead into the ultimate spherical of the U.S. Women’s Open for the primary time in her profession with a one-shot edge over teenager Yuka Saso. She stands at 7-under, one shot forward of Saso.

“I haven’t played to my standards and what I need and I just realized that I needed to change my mindset,” Thomson mentioned. “It was only hurting me. Obviously, I needed to work on some technical things in my game and everything, but the mental side was really getting to me. I was just taking it way too seriously and thinking that Lexi depended on my score.”

New Jersey high school amateur Megha Ganne shot a 72 and was tied for third at 3 underneath with 2019 champion Jeongueun Lee6 of South Korea.

China’s Shanshan Feng was fifth at 2 underneath, with Japan’s Nasa Hataoka and American Megan Khang the one different gamers underneath par at 1 underneath.

Megha Ganna
Megha Ganna
Getty Images

Saso, who has by no means completed higher than sixth in an LPGA Tour occasion, will play in the ultimate group on Sunday with an opportunity to hitch South Korea’s Inbee Park as the one teenagers to win this event. Park did it at 19 years, 11 months, 17 days in 2008, which will probably be Saso’s precise age Sunday.

The 17-year-old Ganne was a crowd favourite at the course and stored her composure early with a few early par saves and birdies on the fifth and ninth holes to get inside a shot of the lead at 5 underneath. Back-to-back bogeys to start out the again 9 knocked her down the leaderboard earlier than she steadied herself with seven straight pars to finish the day.

“It was really mentally a grind out there and I’ve never had to just perform from such bad lies and situations hole after hole and still believe that I was going to do it again on the next hole,” she mentioned. “So it was a lot, but I’m confident in how I’m playing.”

As for Thompson, she mentioned she’s been working once more with efficiency coach John Denney about not dwelling on errors though she made few Saturday when she was the primary participant all week to make par or higher on each gap in the spherical.

That had her in the lead heading into the ultimate spherical of a significant for the primary time since 2017, when her edge after 54 holes at the ANA Inspiration was erased on Sunday when she was penalized 4 strokes after a viewer noticed that she had misplaced her marked ball through the third spherical.

Thompson still managed to make it right into a playoff towards So Yeon Ryu however she misplaced and was unable so as to add to the 2014 ANA Inspiration title she gained for her first main.

Thompson performed a virtually flawless spherical Saturday in search of her first U.S. Women’s Open title in her fifteenth attempt after first competing as a 12-year-old newbie in 2007. She has four-top 10 finishes at the U.S. Women’s Open, together with a runner-up two years in the past in Charleston.

Thompson has been lurking across the leaderboard all week, taking pictures 69 on Thursday and 71 in the second spherical earlier than taking pictures the low spherical of her profession at this event on Saturday.

She began to make a run with three birdies, together with one on No. 9 after hitting her tee shot into the second reduce of tough. She still managed to get on the inexperienced and made a 20-foot putt to get to five underneath.

Thompson added one other lengthy birdie putt on No. 14 and reached the inexperienced at the par-5 seventeenth in two photographs earlier than two-putting for birdie and the lead. She saved par with a 3-foot putt at 18 after hitting her tee shot into the tough and her method behind the inexperienced.

“I struck it well all day, made a few good putts out there,” she mentioned. “It’s all about patience out on this golf course because there’s going to be bad shots made and you’re going to miss some fairways, so you just have to get bogey at worst and get off the hole and go on to the next.”

Saso made back-to-back bogeys on the again 9 to fall out of the lead earlier than recovering with a birdie at the par-5 seventeenth to get again to 7 underneath. She missed a 12-foot par putt on 18 and ended the day a stroke again.

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