NAPLES, Fla. (AP) – Lexi Thompson has control over the CME Championships, and Ariya Jutanugarn controls almost everything.
On Saturday, Thompson 4: below 68 pushed her to 16th in the three rounds of the LPGA season ending the season. She transferred three shots from Nelly Kord and six to Carlota Cigard at the Tiburon Golf Club. Korda shot her other second 67 to get to 13 below, and Ciganda won 69 to get to 10-bucks a week.
Thompson was almost flawless this week. Her only shot from the tournament came on Saturday, when she made a scare in the fourth fourth hole, and then she collected five birds for the rest of her round.
"In golf, it's all about speed," said Thompson.
At the moment she has an abundance of what she means to her. For a week he has 14 birdies, one eagle and one scare. She was also very calm and gathered, having recently bought a hawanese poodle this week, finding the rhythm with an old putter and having her brother Curtis on the bag as her caddy.
"I just tried to keep the same attitude as the last two days," said Thompson. "Curtis kept me nice and relaxed, he always breaks jokes." It was a nice, relaxing week when I put it on the cake and that all my friends and family support me here. "
If Thompson is hanging on Sunday, she will have her first victory this season.
If Jutanugarn will keep everything together, he will leave with a lot of prizes.
Jutanugarn will start his last round of 10 shots back, but he will lead the projected race for the CME Globe classification and will be able to win a million dollars bonus for winning the LPGA seasonal LPG race, which would be her second in three years. Jutanugarn has already won the year player and is almost mathematically convinced of winning the Vare Trophy for the lowest average score on the route in 2018.
"I did a pretty good job, I did not think about it at all," said Jutanugarn about the Globe race and what's going on this weekend. "Yesterday (I thought) too much about it, I'm worried about it."
The Vare trophy is not yet hers, but the most unlikely result would be to sneak out of Jutanugarn in the last round of the season. The two closest players to Jutanugarn in the seasonal rankings are Minjee Lee and Jin Young Ko; each of them would have to defeat the world's first player by about 30 strokes on Sunday to go in the Vare race.
Korda had an eventful day with more birdies than pars – 8-7 – but also with three bogeyes. So Yeon Ru (69 for the third day in a row) and Marina Alex (71) are at the fourth on the bottom and Lydia Ko shot hopelessly 68th on Saturday to rise to six in eighth with Brittany Lincicome (73) .
The first round of the lead, Amy Olson, won three double bogey on the way to 76, leaving her in a draw for 16 and 11 shots except for leading Thompson.