KANG AND CHOI (-10) ATOP TIGHT LEADERBOARD AFTER THREE ROUNDS OF THE KPMG WOMEN’S PGA CHAMPIONSHIP
American Danielle Kang (68 on Saturday) and Korean Chella Choi (67) are tied for the lead, at 10-under-par 203, after three rounds of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club. Kang and Choi are two shots clear of Jiyai Shin (64), who is alone in third place. Defending Champion Brooke Henderson (69) is lurking in fourth. Fourteen players are within five shots of the co-leaders.
A MAJOR CHARGE
The low round of the day belonged to Jiyai Shin, whose bogey-free, 7-under-par 64 has her in contention at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. The 29-year-old from the Republic of Korea entered the third round trailing the leaders by six strokes. Birdies to start and finish her round, along with a stretch of five birdies between holes 9 and 15, positioned Shin momentarily on top of the leaderboard. Shin posted the low 9-hole score of the Championship with her back-nine 30 on Saturday. She sits two strokes behind the leaders heading into Sunday’s final round.
A former World No. 1, Shin is a two-time major champion (2008 & ’12 Women’s British Open). She has three career top-five finishes at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship; although, this is her first appearance since 2013.
BROOKE’S BACK AND CELEBRATING CANADA DAY AT OLYMPIA FIELDS
With birdies on holes 1, 4, 13, 14 and 16, defending Champion Brooke Henderson (68-69-69, 206) spent most of Saturday climbing the leaderboard, but a disappointing bogey-par finish on 17 and 18 left her alone in fourth place. Henderson, who entered the weekend in a tie for 8thplace, will enter Sunday’s final round three shots off the pace. Henderson’s attempting to become just the sixth player to win this Championship in consecutive years, and the initial five are all members of the World Golf Hall of Fame: Inbee Park (2013-15), Annika Sörenstam (2003-05), Juli Inkster (1999-2000), Patti Sheehan (1983-84) and Mickey Wright (1960-61).
CRACKING THE TOP 10
Making her first cut in four tries at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, Kim Kaufman jumped into the top 10 with a third round, 2-under-par 69. Prior to a bogey on the par-3 17th, the 25-year-old from Clark, South Dakota, enjoyed 31 consecutive holes without dropping a stroke going back to her third hole in the second round, when she double-bogeyed the par-4 12th. Kaufman’s best finish in a major championship came in the 2015 Evian Championship, when she finished in a tie for 29th place.
Kaufman is joined by nine other players, including major champions Lexi Thompson, Michelle Wie and So Yeon Ryu, in a tie for 7th, five back of the lead.
AMERICANS HOPING TO MAKE A STATEMENT
The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship has been a global melting pot of talent, with international players winning 15 of the past 16 Championships. With 54 holes complete, Danielle Kang (T-1) of Las Vegas, Nevada; Michelle Wie (T-7) of Honolulu, Hawaii, Lexi Thompson (T-7) of Coral Springs; Florida; Kim Kaufman (T-7) of Clark, South Dakota; and Gerina Piller (T-7) of Flower Mound, Texas, each have a reasonable opportunity to give the United States its first KPMG Women’s PGA Champion since Cristie Kerr won in 2010.