Saturday, October 12, 2013
EIGHTEEN-YEAR-OLD Lexi Thompson's putter was on fire on a cloudy evening when she grabbed the lead with a
five-under 66 for a 17-under 196 in the LPGA Sime Darby Malaysia at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club
The United States' teenager dethroned two-round leader Lee II Hee, who is now three strokes adrift, after the
South Korean returned only a one-under 70 for a 14-under 199 total.
II Hee cut her own lead, when she had two bogies and three birdies when push-came-to-shove.
And tied-third were Suzann Petersen of Norway and Feng Shenshen of China, who had 11-under 202 totals.
"I played with some great players today (yesterday with Shenshen and II He) but there was no pressure at all as I
played my own game and kept the focus on the greens," was her simple answer to a super day at the office.
Pink Panther would have been at home at the KLGCC yesterday, as all he golfers wore pink to support breast
cancer awareness day with the motto -- Breast Friend's For Ever (BFF).
And Lexi was as smooth as a panther, as she tipped-toed herself to the top of the leaderboard with a bogey free
round of five birdies on the fourth, sixth, seventh, 10th and 13th.
"The pin placements were definately much more difficult than the previous two rounds as they placed it right at
the edges and one had to shoot the centre of greens to avoid run-offs.
"And so I played safe on many of the greens and tried for birdies where possible. I expect the same in the final
round, and will have to be cautious as well as brave as I know there are some really great players out there who
would shoot low scores to try and lay their hands on the title," said the teenager.
Il He was just glad that that her bad round did not come in the final day.
"Every golfer knows that there is bound to be one bad day, and I am just glad that mine was today (yesterday)
and I can still recover my game in the next round.
She started with a bogey on the par four second, even though it was a three-foot putt for par.
"That was really frustrating as I think I tried too hard and even from three feet away, the ball just swayed. That
was complimented with a last-hole birdie which made my day going into the final.
"I enjoyed most of the holes yesterday, and I aim to enjoy the entire course tomorrow (today) and have some fun
out there," said II He.
China's top golfer Shenshen is another lady who aims to have fun in the final round: "I hit one-under only, but I'm
still happy as its not a bad score considering the difficult pin positions, and also windy conditions out there. The
one stroke is still keeping me with a chance in the final and that makes it a happy outing," said the portly Chinese.
Defending champion Park Inbee of South Korea returned a two-under 69 and is tied 28th with a three-under 210 score.