In the span of three holes, Perrine Delacour went from trailing by four strokes to leading by one during the third round of the Kingsmill Championship Presented by JTBC.
And it all started at the par 4, 16th hole.
A four-stroke lead held by Alison Lee was quickly cut in half when Delacour made birdie at the 16th hole and Lee made bogey at the same hole. Lee followed with a double bogey at the par 3, 17th and Delacour responded with a birdie on 18 to take a one-stroke lead. Delacour shot 4-under par, 67 on Saturday to take a one-stroke lead ahead of Lee at 11-under par. A first time leader on the LPGA Tour, Delacour says she will use her experience in winning the Girls British Open Amateur to keep her calm on Sunday.
“When I won the British Amateur, I didn't have the game to win, so I just play every match and win every match, and at the end I win the tournament,” Delacour said Saturday. “So I try to do the same tomorrow.” Delacour is seeking her first win in 20 starts on the LPGA Tour.
Rookie Lee looked like a veteran Saturday, calmly extending her lead with four birdies thru 11 holes, until making her first bogey of the day at 16. She made similar mistakes on her back-9 Friday and said fatigue played a factor, but says it was just a few misread putts that she struggled with down the stretch Saturday.
“I felt like I hit a couple decent strokes,” Lee said after her round. “I just misread it. Especially coming down I think 15, 16, 17, I hit strokes that I thought were good, but it didn't turn out as well. I'm pretty sure that four‑putt on 17 will come back to haunt me later this week and tomorrow. I learned a lot. I'm just glad I finished under par today and just looking forward to tomorrow.”
Paula Creamer’s putting saved her on Saturday, helping turn what was a weak round with her irons, hitting just 10 of 18 greens, into a third round 66, tying her low round of the season.
“You have to have a good short game and be able to bail yourself out at times,” Creamer said after her round. “My putter was hot and I gave myself some really good looks for par, even thought I had to save them. It was a crazy back nine, that's for sure.”
Creamer had 23 putts, including three long putts for birdie on the back nine, including a 15 and 30 footer. She’s currently T-3 at 9-under par and excited to be in contention on Sunday.
“Playing in a final group or the last two groups, that's always fun,” Creamer said. “It's good to have my game where I want it to be. I have a lot of confidence, even though I got to go work on some things, but this is fun.”
Creamer will be paired with So Yeon Ryu in the second to last group Sunday, both tied for third at 9-under par in addition to Minjee Lee.
Watch the final round action on Golf Channel from 5:00pm – 7:00pm.