Britain’s Mel Reid shot a five-under par 66 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead into the final round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic in Galloway, N.J.
Reid carded three birdies and an eagle for a 54-hole score of 15 under, one shot ahead of Americans Jennifer Kupcho and Jennifer Song, who shot matching 65s in the third round on the Bay Course at Seaview to hold second place.
Halfway-point leader Nasa Hataoka of Japan (third-round 70) sits alone in fourth place at 12 under. Malaysia’s Kelly Tan (65) and American Ryann O’Toole (67) are tied for fifth, four shots back.
Reid started strong, birdieing two of her first three holes before carding an eagle on the par-5 ninth hole. She followed that with a birdie on No. 10.
Reid hopes she can bring home her first title, two weeks after holding the lead heading into the final round of the Cambia Portland Classic. She ended up tied for fifth in that event.
“Hopefully I have left a bit out there for tomorrow,” said Reid. “I was pretty disappointed the way I handled Portland. I felt like it was in my hands, really. It’s a little bit different here. I feel like girls are going to still shoot low tomorrow. I’ve got to play well to get my hands on that trophy.”
Kupcho and Song both played bogey-free golf while racking up six birdies each to join three other players with the low round of the day — 65.
Hataoka struggled with her putter. She bogeyed the par-4 fourth hole and the par-3 15th. She offset those with three birdies but nonetheless lost ground.
“In today’s round, putts didn’t go in so I couldn’t get into the flow of things, but I didn’t feel like I played that badly,” said Hataoka, who hopes to join 2010 champion Ai Miyazato as the only Japanese players to win the ShopRite LPGA Classic. “I felt like my speed on the greens was a little off; I was on my line but came up short, so I’ll work on that. I’ll keep playing aggressively and try to make all the birdies.”
Defending champion Lexi Thompson sits tied for 22nd at 6 under.
–Field Level Media