It was another round in the 60s for Lexi Thompson on Moving Day at the Dana Open presented by Marathon, one that has propelled her into a tie for second with 18 holes to go. The 11-time LPGA Tour winner fired a sporty 6-under 65 on Saturday at Highland Meadows Golf Club, a round that was highlighted by an eagle on the par-4 ninth and five birdies including three in a row on holes 15, 16, and 17. Tied with Germany’s Caroline Masson at -13, Thompson sits one back of two-time Epson Tour winner Lucy Li who holds the 54-hole lead at -14 and is looking to capture her first win since the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer in 2019.
“No. 9, they moved it up quite a bit to make it drivable for us. I think it was actually only my second drive of the first nine, and I hit it very good. Ended up rolling about 20 feet just short of the hole and made it and walked off with a 2. On my stat card, I'm like, driver, green, in the hole. I'm like that's weird, on a par-4,” said Thompson of her fourth eagle of the season. “I'm sure there will be a few more tucked pins, but at the same time, a few accessible ones, so be able to go low and make those birdies out there. So just hit the fairways and give myself those birdie opportunities. Hopefully a good amount drop. All I can do is focus on my game and emotions and see where that takes me.”
It’s the sixth time this season Thompson has been within five of the lead entering the final round, and in her seven previous Dana Open starts, she’s had three top-five finishes – two runner-up results in 2017 and 2019 and a tie for third in 2013. She’s been striking it well so far this week and continued that in round three, hitting 12 of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens, and her performance with the flatstick has also been solid with Thompson needing less than 30 putts per round over the last three days. But while everything seems to be leaning in her favor, veteran Thompson knows better than to get ahead of herself and will just be taking Sunday as it comes, no matter the final result.
“I go into every tournament wanting to win,” said Thompson. “It has not worked out the way I want it to in a few events, but that's golf. I think you never lose; you're always learning. That's what I've taken from those experiences. There is always something to build on and learn from those days. It's golf. It's a crazy game. It can be with you one day and not the next. So just (need to) hit the fairways and give myself those birdie opportunities. Hopefully a good amount drop. All I can do is focus on my game and emotions and see where that takes me.”