Katherine Kirk has a four-shot lead after three rounds of the Thornberry Creek Classic, with the Australian in position to challenge the LPGA Tour’s 72-hole record.
Kirk fired a seven-under 65 on Saturday to be 20-under 196 going into the final round at the resort course near Green Bay.
Coming off a career-best 63 on Friday, the 35-year-old again sizzled in the first year event at the Oneida Nation-owned course.
The LPGA Tour record for 72 holes is 27 under, set by Annika Sorenstam in the 2001 Standard Register Ping in Phoenix and matched by Sei Young Kim last year in the Founders Cup, also in Phoenix. Sorenstam shot a record 59 in the second round.
“I’ve been playing pretty well lately, trending at least in the right direction,” Kirk said.
“I like this golf course. It suits my eye, and I think it’s going to take another low one tomorrow. You saw some really good scores out there today. It’s not over until it’s over, right?”
Kirk played the first five holes in one over with a birdie on No.1 and bogeys on three and five.
She rebounded with a birdie on the sixth, ran off four straight on holes eight to 11 and added birdies on 13, 15 and 17.
On the par-4 18th, she saved par with a 15-footer after finding the right fairway bunker and hitting her approach well left.
“I know I can putt well, but I think I’m like pushing the limits right now,” Kirk said. “It’s fun…. It’s unexpected, but you certainly take them when you can.”
Kirk won the last of her two tour titles in 2010.
South Africa’s Ashleigh Buhai was outright second after a 65, with Ayako Uehara (65) of Japan and England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff (66) tied third on 13 under.