Rolex Rankings No. 14 Paula Creamer and No. 26 Beatriz Recari both shot rounds of 4-under 67 in the third round of the Marathon Classic and will continue to share the lead at 12-under par heading into Sunday’s final round. The duo holds a three-shot lead over Americans Lexi Thompson and Jacqui Concolino and Japanese LPGA Tour rookie Chie Arimura who sit in a tie for third place at 9-under par.
Soft conditions from heavy overnight rain in the Toledo area provided players with more chances to be aggressive toward the pins compared to the first two rounds. Recari and Creamer started the third round tied for the lead with Alison Walshe at 8-under par and battled throughout the day.
“I played with her today, and she's a real fighter and a great competitor, so it's not a surprise to see that chip‑in for birdie on 17,” Recari said of Creamer. “I know that she's always going to give herself good chances and she played great.”
The duo both recorded bogey-free rounds and played within one shot of each other the entire day. Creamer held a one-shot lead heading to the 17th tee and they exchanged birdies on the par 5 after Creamer chipped in from the rough. But Recari responded with another on No. 18 with a six-foot putt to grab share of the lead.
“I had a great day too,” said Recari. “I started with a birdie which is great to start your round with, and then I hit my irons really well and gave myself chances all the time. I had some putts that just went by the hole. But I stayed patient, and it was really good to get that birdie there on 17 and 18 to get close to 67.”
Creamer, who won the Toledo-based event in 2008, said she is looking forward to playing in the final group on Sunday. It’s the first time the 26-year old has held a third-round lead since the 2012 Kingsmill Championship and is playing for her first win since the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open, where she also held the third-round lead.
“This is what I want,” said Creamer. “I've never made a secret of how much I like to win and be in contention. But at the same time, I haven't given myself this opportunity too many times. So it's here, and we'll see how I can handle it tomorrow.
American teenager Lexi Thompson trails the leaders by three shots after a third-round 67 and is playing for her second-career LPGA Tour win. Her first came at the 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic when she became the youngest winner on Tour. LPGA Tour rookie Chie Arimura (68) and second-year Tour member Jacqui Concolino (69) are seeking their first-career victories and sit alongside Thompson in a tie for third.
American Angela Stanford shot the low round of the day with a 7-under 64 which included eight birdies and one bogey. The 35-year old Saginaw, Texas native made the most of moving day and jumped from T52 to T11 and sits six shots off the lead.
Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park will have some work to do on Sunday to put herself in contention after a 2-over 73 in the third round. She’s eight shots off the lead at 4-under par in a T23.
“I just putted really bad today,” said Park. “Inside of that everything else was really similar, but nothing seems to be going. I gave myself eight birdie chances out of nine holes on the back nine and nothing went in. So just a bad putting day, nothing else.”
Topics: Marathon Classic