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Maguire's challenge fades as Tavatanakit stays on course for maiden major

The Cavan woman has fallen back to a tie for 33rd despite an impressive eagle early in her third round.

Leona Maguire chips in for an eagle on the second hole during the third round at the ANA Inspiration.
Leona Maguire chips in for an eagle on the second hole during the third round at the ANA Inspiration.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

PATTY TAVATANAKIT OF Thailand is on track to make her first LPGA title a major triumph after carding a five-under par 67 on Saturday to take a five-shot lead at the ANA Inspiration.

The 21-year-old had seven birdies in her 67 at Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, California, and showed no sign of nerves as she increased her one-shot overnight advantage. She was three strokes in front of defending champion Lee Mi-rim of South Korea and American Ally Ewing.

Ewing climbed the leaderboard with a bogey-free six-under par 66, while Lee – who won the rescheduled 2020 edition last September – signed for a 68.

Chinese veteran Feng Shanshan, playing her first LPGA event in more than a year, carded an even par 72 for sole possession of third place on eight-under 208.

Cavan’s Leona Maguire chipped in for an eagle on the par-five second, but a round of 74 pushed her further down the leaderboard, while Antrim’s Stephanie Meadow improved with a 71.

Maguire was in a tie for second after the opening round, before dropping to 12th place on Friday, five shots off the top of the leaderboard.

The 26-year-old’s challenge was hindered by six bogeys on Saturday, and she’s now 12 shots off the pace-setter on two-under for the tournament.

With Maguire in a tie for 33rd, Meadow shares 39th place on one-under after a third round for the 29-year-old that featured four birdies and three bogeys.

Click here to view a full leaderboard.

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