It’s an Australian offensive as the LPGA Tour’s Palos Verdes Championship reaches its climax, with three Down Under contenders jostling for the lead – and a Kiwi the main threat.
Australian Hannah Green will take a one-shot lead into the final round, but she’s facing a host of challengers including fellow Australians Minjee Lee and Sarah Kemp.
Green had her three-shot halfway lead trimmed after shooting a one-over 72 on the tough and hilly Palos Verdes Estates course in California on Saturday to lead from former world No.1, New Zealnder Lydia Ko (70).
The pair will go head to head in the final group on Sunday (Monday AEST).
Eyes on the prize … and Lydia Ko
World No.4 Lee is among nine players tied third, three shots behind Green, after carding a 72, while Kemp charged with a 66 on Saturday to be a further shot away.
Green is seeking a third LPGA Tour title and first in three years after taking the major KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Hazeltine and the Portland Classic in 2019.
She mixed five bogeys – including four on the front nine – with an eagle at the par 5 seventh and two birdies.
“I got off to a horrendous start, I guess you could say,” Green said.
“I just short-sided myself too many times today, so I was actually pretty happy with the one-over score.
“You just have to stay patient like every other golf course, but it’s hard when Lydia is breathing down your back and there are so many good scores from earlier in the day.”
Alongside Lee in the big group poised to challenge from tied third are Inbee Park (70), Lexi Thompson (66), Allisen Corpuz (68), Gemma Dryburgh (68), Andrea Lee (70), Marina Alex (70), Annie Park (71) and Megan Khang (72).
Kemp surged into contention with an eagle and four birdies in her round, playing the last three holes in three under.
New Zealander Ko is seeking her 17th LPGA title.