RANCHO MIRAGE, CA – Lexi Thompson sits atop a packed leaderboard at 13-under par and holds the 54-hole lead at the ANA Inspiration. Thompson leads Suzann Pettersen by two-strokes and has a large group of pursuers within five shots of the lead.
Thompson is looking to take another leap into Poppie’s Pond and pick up her second major championship and first win of the 2017 season. She carded six birdies on the day to finish at 5-under, hitting 18 of 18 greens in regulation. She has twice before held the 54-hole lead at the ANA Inspiration, going on to win in 2014.
“Yeah, well, that experience always helps me out, but I'm just going to focus on tomorrow, focus on one shot at a time, relax out there between shots, and just focus on doing my routine, visualizing my shots out there,” explained Thompson.
This course certainly suits Thompson's eye - she's 21-under in her last seven rounds at Mission Hills Country Club.
“I just love this golf course. I get to hit a lot of drivers, and it just sets up well,” said Thompson. “There's a few doglegs left, which helps me out. I love being here. It's just absolutely beautiful, and it's always in great shape for us.”
Everyone in contention wants to win a major but perhaps no one more than Pettersen. The 15-time LPGA winner has finished in the top-10 at Mission Hills seven times, including three times a runner-up. Pettersen, whose last victory came at the 2015 Manulife LPGA Classic, had two bogeys and six birdies to card a 4-under 68 in her third round.
“I think I've always said since the first time I saw this place it really fits my eye. I'm driving the ball well, and that's a major key on this golf course, and if you do, you can kind of attack it, as well,” said Pettersen. “So far, so good. I've got a big job to do tomorrow. I mean, the leaderboard is packed behind me, as well. You've got to expect to go out there and shoot low. There's a lot at stake, but I'm all in for it.”
Pettersen laughs as she says her only expectation for tomorrow is “to get wet.”
Mi Jung Hur, Minjee Lee, Inbee Park and So Yeon Ryu sit three back of Thompson at 10-under par.