On Sky Sports activities, Dame Laura Davies has simply described the chip that Thompson shovelled over the sixteenth inexperienced as one thing an 18-handicapper would do. It was a significantly angular, uncoordinated effort, that’s for positive, the product of a thoughts addled by the pressures of a significant championship on Sunday. Chun cranks up the stress by wedging her second into 17 to 12 ft … so hats off to Thompson, who clears her head and responds marvellously with an method to an identical distance. Two huge putts for probably decisive birdie developing!
Chun easily lotions her drive at 17 down the center. Thompson follows her, ending 30 yards previous. Each of those gamers have loved probably decisive leads, solely to search out themselves neck and neck happening the stretch. Good luck calling it.
Thompson settles herself to tidy up for bogey. In the meantime Thitikul pours her birdie putt at 17 into the centre of the cup, and this actually is all to play for now. Main championship Sunday, girls and gents!
-5: Thompson (16), Chun (16)
-4: Lee (F)
-3: Thitikul (17)
Thompson elects to putt up from the underside of the swale. There’s extra financial institution than inexperienced to cowl, and she or he misjudges horribly, sending her putt racing 15 ft previous. The one coming again by no means appears to be like like dropping, and rolls three ft previous. Then Chun, who has been ready patiently whereas her companions faff round, rolls in her uphill birdie putt, and she or he’ll have a share of the lead on the very least!
Choi significantly overcooks her wedge coming again and is lucky that her ball skims the flagstick, taking away loads of the tempo. It nonetheless topples off the perimeter on the entrance. She stabs the putt coming again to kick-in distance, however that’s a 3rd bogey in 4 holes, and she or he’s -1. In the meantime the 19-year-old Thai, Atthaya Thitikul, isn’t out of this but. Having made birdie at 16, she sends her second into 17 to eight ft, and can take a look at a birdie that can take her to -3!
… however Lee will even be dreaming of a play-off. The prospect of that turns into a little bit extra probably on 16, the place Chun wedges to 6 ft, whereas Choi flies her bunker shot, all ball, no sand, over the inexperienced. In the meantime Thompson hits a scorching wedge over the inexperienced and down a swale to the left! Drama growing right here!
Minjee Lee tidies up for her birdie on 18, and that’s a closing spherical of 70. The US Open champion units a brand new clubhouse goal of -4, and she or he’ll be regretting that wholly pointless three-putt bogey on 17.
-6: Thompson (15)
-4: Lee (F), Chun (15)
-2: Thitkul (16), Choi (15)
No one within the closing group reaches the par-five sixteenth in two. Chun down the left of the green, Thompson over on the fitting, Choi in greenside sand. Some huge up and downs developing!
Minjee Lee crashes her tee shot down 18 and almost finds one other divot. Her ball performs properly this time, permitting her to screech her method to 3 ft. She’ll be posting a brand new clubhouse lead in a few minutes, in some way.
… after which on 17, Minjee Lee’s birdie putt breaks dramatically to the fitting. She’s left with a difficult three footer to save lots of her par … and she will’t make it. It horseshoes out, and what a large couple of minutes it’s been for Lexi Thompson! That elusive second main so shut now!
-6: Thompson (15)
-4: Chun (15)
-3: Lee (17)
-2: Choi (15)
Chun’s flip. She stabs a flop to 3 ft. However earlier than she will tidy up for par, Thompson putts from the perimeter. A reasonably straight 12-footer … and in it goes! From the ridiculous to the chic, and that’s an enormous bounceback birdie! What moxie after the egregious miss on the earlier inexperienced. That cranks up the stress on Chun, who pulls her putter again and … steps out of the shot, the wind having picked up out of the blue. As if the putt, nearly a can’t miss, isn’t exhausting sufficient in these circumstances! However she gathers herself and pops it in to save lots of par.
Choi nearly whiffs her chip from the thick tough on 15. Take two is almost a hole-out. She faucets in for a bogey that drops her again to -2, and wears the look of somebody who suspects the jig is up.
Choi and Chun each fly the fifteenth inexperienced, like Lee and Kupcho earlier than them. Each will face tough chips again from the cabbage, with little inexperienced to play with. Thompson goes off the again as properly, however solely by one bounce, her wedge almost screeching to a halt on the dancefloor. Not ultimate, however higher than her two enjoying companions. In the meantime on 17, Lee’s drive finds a divot, however she’s capable of swish into the guts of the inexperienced anyway, from the place she’ll have an uphill have a look at birdie from 20 ft.
… oh my. Lexi pulls the quick par putt to the left, straight off the bat. The ball doesn’t even shave the lip. May the yips do for her once more? That’s a painful bogey, and she or he wouldn’t be human if she hasn’t simply began pondering of that collapse at Olympic within the US Open final 12 months. In the meantime on 16, Lee rolls her eagle putt to a few inches and tidies up for birdie! The brand new US Open champ walks off smiling broadly, and this leaderboard out of the blue appears to be like very completely different.
-5: Thompson (14)
-4: Lee (16), Chun (14)
-3: Choi (14)
-2: SY Kim (14)
Chun very almost drains a monster on 14! An enormous left-to-right breaker from 50 ft, up and over a ridge, stops one flip quick. So near a birdie that will have despatched a shudder down Thompson’s backbone! She stays at -4 and now Thompson will take a look at birdie of her personal from a way more practical 20 ft. The chief leaves it a pair quick, and …
The Dinah Shore champion Jennifer Kupcho had been hovering, 4 off the lead. However she will’t rise up and down from the Minjee Lee Bunker at 15, and she or he slips again to -1, out of rivalry as she runs out of time.
Hye-jin Choi is certain to make a bounceback birdie on 13. She makes use of the camber in the back of the 14th inexperienced to assemble her ball again to kick-in distance. That’ll return her to -3, and she or he’s not out of this but. Additionally not out of this, under no circumstances, is Minjee Lee. She pearls her second into the par-five sixteenth, the ball taking a few bounces and almost rolling in for albatross! The ball sails a few inches huge to the left, however she’ll take a look at eagle from 15 ft!
A few drama-free two-putt pars on 13 for Thompson and Chun. No par for Choi, nevertheless. She wedges delicately to 5 ft, however prods on the par putt in an especially tentative method, and the 22-year-old South Korean, coming off the again of a third-place end on the US Open three weeks in the past, slips to -2. However what an up and down for Lee on 15! She splashes out of the sand, shortsided from a downhill lie, limiting the roll previous the outlet to 4 ft. It’s inconceivable that she might do any higher, and she or he nails the one coming again.
-6: Thompson (13)
-4: Chun (13)
-3: Lee (15)
The early clubhouse chief is Nasa Hataoka. The 23-year-old from Japan has already come shut in a few majors, dropping play-offs on the 2018 PGA to Park Sung-hyun and final 12 months’s US Open to Yuka Saso. Three birdies in her final six holes units the seal on a closing spherical of 69, and she or he ends the week at -1 total.
Some hassle for Minjee Lee on 15. Her method takes a tough bounce on the apron of the inexperienced, and flies hysterically right into a bunker on the again. She’ll be shortsided from there, and on a downhill slope as well. Again on the par-three thirteenth, the chief Lexi Thompson and Chun In-gee each discover the inexperienced safely, however Choi Hye-jin sends her hybrid into thick tough to the fitting.
Thompson’s par putt is at all times destined to remain excessive on the left. Bogey, solely her second on the again 9 all week. What a time to change that exact stat. But it surely’s not as expensive because it may very well be, Chun’s quick putt horseshoeing out. She fingers again the shot she picked up at 11 within the shortest of orders. Par in the meantime for the third member of the ultimate group, Hye-jin Choi, who almost drains a 30-footer for birdie and is hanging on in there.
-6: Thompson (12)
-4: Chun (12)
-3: Lee (14), Choi (12)
The wind’s working towards Thompson as properly, coming in from behind, making it even more durable to cease her ball wherever close to the outlet. She does very properly to land it in entrance of the pin, however can’t cease it rolling 20 ft previous. Chun’s try to lag her first putt to kick-in distance is a wee bit overcooked, leaving a three-foot take a look at coming again. In the meantime one other par for Minjee Lee, this time at 14. She appears to be like within the temper to set a goal that can give the main pair pause for thought as they head dwelling.
Thompson takes a courageous line into 12, in the direction of a pin tucked in behind an enormous bunker on the left. She fires her iron straight as an arrow, however sadly it’s manner in need of the goal, and lands in one of many sand traps. She’ll be left with a difficult third over one other miles of sand, and with out an excessive amount of inexperienced to play with. Chun, in basic matchplay type, sends her method alongside a way more conservative line, into the meat of the inexperienced, nowhere close to the sand, however not significantly close to the pin both.
Kim Sei-young is having a shocker. It’s now three consecutive bogeys, 4 in 5 holes, as she three-putts 12. That is exhausting to observe, as she leaves a protracted birdie effort three ft quick, then shoves the par try 5 ft previous! She does extraordinarily properly to compose herself and make the bogey putt, thus avoiding the ignominy of a four-putt double bogey. However having acquired as excessive as -6 this afternoon, she’s fallen all the best way all the way down to -2, and with some pace. Having out of the blue her mojo, you’d must say the 2020 champion’s race is run.
Chun In-gee makes her first birdie in 15 holes! And the way she wanted it. She finds the par-five eleventh in regulation, then rams a 20-foot received’t-die-wondering birdie effort into the again of the cup. That’s a powerful response to an terrible entrance 9, although she stays two off the lead, as a result of Lexi Thompson, having almost discovered the inexperienced in two, wedges to 6 ft and makes her birdie putt.
-7: Thompson (11)
-5: Chun (11)
-3: Lee (13), Choi (11), Kim (11)
Minjee Lee retains issues going properly on the par-three thirteenth. An extended rake at birdie breaks six ft to the fitting, and she or he’s left with a testing putt to save lots of her par. However she pours it into the center of the cup to stay within the group at -3.
Nothing a lot had been going proper for Brooke Henderson right now. Bogeys at 1, 9 and 10 toppled her down the standings to stage par. However she’s bounced again at 12 by draining a monster to return to -1. Jennifer Chang nevertheless drops one, the punishment for a dismal wedge from the perimeter; she’s -2. In the meantime up on 18, Jeongeun Lee5 – to not be confused with 2019 US Open winner Jeongeun Lee6 – holes out from 100 yards on 18 for a closing eagle. She indicators for a 74, ending the week at +3, and that can have earned just a few bonus pennies.
Kim Sei-young goes backwards at tempo. A careless three-putt bogey on the par-five eleventh, her third in 4 holes, sends the 2020 champion again to -3.
The ultimate trio reply by rapidly sending away their tee photographs on the downhill par-three tenth. Choi dunks right into a bunker to the left. Thompson and Chun discover the inexperienced, however neither are significantly shut. Choi can’t rise up and down. She slips again to -3. Thompson leaves her lengthy first putt 4 ft quick, the form of distance that’s been so troublesome for her through the years. However she pops in a wonderful saver. A fuss-free two-putt par for Chun. In the meantime all might be cautious of the presence of the brand new US Open champion Minjee Lee, who having began chilly with bogeys at 1 and a pair of, has since birdied 5, 9 and now 11 to maneuver into critical rivalry.
-6: Thompson (10)
-4: Kim (10), Chun (9)
-3: Lee (12), Chang (11), Choi (10)
The ultimate group of Lexi Thompson, Chun In-gee and Choi Hye-jin have been placed on the clock. They’d fallen greater than a gap behind the penultimate group, and having been ordered to shut the hole solely to fail to take action, will now must get a wriggle on. They took two hours and 50 minutes to play the entrance 9! Say no to gradual play, youngsters. Simply step up and fireplace. That method didn’t do Matt Fitzpatrick any hurt at Brookline final week.
Bogey at 10 for Kim Sei-young, the winner of this match at Aronimink in 2020. That’s her second dropped shot in three holes, and having briefly troubled Thompson within the lead after birdie on 3, she slips to -4. In the meantime again on 9, Chun – who led by seven after three holes yesterday – makes a three-putt bogey. Yet one more shot gone, and she or he hits the flip in 40 strokes. Nonetheless, she walks off smiling bravely, and could also be feeling a little bit higher as Thompson’s quick, straight birdie putt lips out. Thompson has a two-shot lead nevertheless it actually ought to be three. She’s a tad extra pensive as she departs the scene.
-6: Thompson (9)
-4: Kim (10), Choi (9), Chun (9)
Lexi clearly isn’t mulling over final 12 months’s US Open capitulation at Olympic Membership! She powers a wedge out of the thick stuff into the guts of the inexperienced, making use of the ridge working throughout it to deliver her ball again to 6 ft. That’s fairly sensational from the place she was, and she or he’ll have have a look at her third birdie of the day. It stays astonishing that the 27-year-old Floridian hasn’t added to her one main up to now, the 2014 Dinah Shore. Fifteen top-ten finishes since then. Sixteenth time fortunate? She appears to be like within the temper, however then we stated that at Olympic and look what occurred there.
A little bit of hassle for the chief Lexi Thompson on the par-five ninth. From the centre of the green, she sends her second into thick tough down the fitting. The final time Lexi led a significant on Sunday afternoon? Oh no. We will go there, however let’s hope she hasn’t.
Georgia Corridor had been making a too-little-too-late sprint up the leaderboard. Having began her day on 10 at +2, and bogeyed 14, she then birdied 15, 17, 18 and 4 to make it into the highest ten at -1. However a double bogey at 7 has despatched the 2018 British Open champion again down the standings to +1.
It didn’t take lengthy right now earlier than change was afoot on the high of the leaderboard. Chun In-gee’s benefit was whittled away in brief order, as she bogeyed 2 whereas Lexi Thompson birdied 1 and three. Chun dropped one other stroke at 6, and unexpectedly she discovered herself two behind Thompson. The brand new chief handed a stroke again at 7, although, Thompson’s first bogey in 21 holes. A much-needed momentum changer for Chun? We’ll discover out quickly sufficient. Right here we go!
-6: Thompson (7)
-5: Kim (8), Chun (7)
-4: Choi (7)
-3: Chang (9)
-2: Lee (10), Inexperienced (8)
-1: Corridor (15*), Nordqvist (11), Kupcho (9), Henderson (9), Thitikul (8)
Earlier than we get going … a reminder of how this title was determined final 12 months.
It’s been fairly the week to date for Chun In-gee. The 27-year-old from South Korea has lengthy been trying so as to add the Ladies’s PGA Championship to the Ladies’s Open she received as a 20-year-old tour debutant in 2015 and the Evian Championship she hoisted a 12 months later. A interval within the doldrums adopted – simply the one win on Tour since then, on the KEB Hana Financial institution in 2018 – however a few top-ten finishes within the majors within the final couple of years have seen Chun again heading in the right direction … and an opening-day 64 this week, which gave her a record-equalling five-stroke lead after 18 holes, set her honest to finish her unexpectedly prolonged watch for main quantity three.
But it surely’s robust holding this form of factor up for 4 days. Chun was nonetheless 5 clear by way of 15 holes yesterday, solely to get overwhelmed by tall grass, then a bush, on the par-five sixteenth. She ran up a double-bogey seven. All of the sudden her lead going into the ultimate spherical was solely – solely! – three, giving the chasing pack renewed hope. And what a chasing pack it’s, that includes main champions in Lexi Thompson, Kim Sei-young, Hannah Inexperienced, Brooke Henderson, Jennifer Kupcho, Anna Nordqvist, Ko Jin-young, Lydia Ko, Yuka Saso and the brand new US Open champion Minjee Lee.
“If it’s going to be too straightforward, then I really feel it’s boring,” Chun stated after her spherical yesterday. That’s simply as properly, then, as a result of what beforehand regarded like a particular procession has now the potential to change into an absolute nail-biter. Our protection begins at 6pm BST. It’s on!
Leaders after 54 holes
-8: Chun In-gee
-5: Choi Hye-jin, Lexi Thompson, Kim Sei-young
-4: Hannah Inexperienced
-3: Atthaya Thitikul, Brooke Henderson, Jennifer Chang, Jennifer Kupcho
-2: Stephanie Meadow, Minjee Lee
-1: Jessica Korda, Chella Choi, Anna Nordqvist, Angel Yin, Yuka Saso, Lydia Ko, Ko Jin-young