Leona Maguire (file pic). Ben Brady/INPHO
In Contention

Maguire and Meadow both tied for 13th ahead of final round in Florida

American Allisen Corpuz narrowly leads at the LPGA’s Pelican Championship.

LEONA MAGUIRE AND Stephanie Meadow are both tied for 13th ahead of the final round of the LPGA Tour’s Pelican Championship in Florida.

The Irish duo are in contention, sitting on five-under par thru 36 holes and five shots off the lead. Cavan star Maguire, seeking her second LPGA Tour win, shot a sizzling 64 on Saturday, while Meadow signed off with a 68.

American Allisen Corpuz holds a one shot lead on the field heading into Sunday’s final round in Belleair, after shooting a five-under round of 65.

The tournament, which was cut to 54 holes after Thursday’s play was lost to wet conditions following a storm, is set up for a tight battle with Sweden’s Maja Stark, American Lexi Thompson and Mexican Maria Fassi all just one stroke off the lead.

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The only disappointment for Corpuz came with a bogey on her final hole, the par-3 ninth, but the 24-year-old rookie was delighted to be in top spot.

“I think it’s always really good to see yourself up there. I mean, really just had a good year so far and kind of want to end the season on a good note,” said Corpuz, who has had two top-10 finishes so far this season.

While Corpuz is hoping for a first LPGA Tour win, she will be wary of Stark, who is looking for her second victory on the circuit after only joining mid-season.

Stark’s win at the ISPS Handa World Invitational in August saw Corpuz finish runner-up, but the Swede has also had two other wins on the Ladies European Tour this year.

After an electrifying first round 62, Fassi did enough on Saturday to stay in the race despite a pair of bogeys on the 14th and 15th.

“A lot more today, kind of just saving pars and making four-, five-footers, again, to save pars and stuff,” she said.

“I just couldn’t really get much going. I still managed to get under par and be right there for tomorrow. I know there are plenty of birdies out there for me, and just very excited to go out on Sunday and be in contention,” she said.

Thompson finished her round of 67 with birdies on the 14th and 17th as she looks to improve on her playoff defeat here last season.

“I’ll learn from last year. I played some amazing golf. It wasn’t the outcome I wanted, but I learned from it, built off it, and took the positives from it that I played really well that whole week,” she said.

The winner of that play-off, American Nelly Korda, would have been level with Thompson had she not bogeyed the 18th.

Maguire powered up the leaderboard on Saturday, having posted a sluggish 71 on opining day. She was in top-10 at one stage, but a double-bogey on the 12th was a big blot on her copybook. She reacted well, though and signed off with eight birdies: on holes one, two, five, seven, eight, nine, 14 and 18.

Meadow’s 68 followed a 67 on Friday. The Antrim woman birdied on the third, fourth and 17th, though shot a bogey on the eighth.

– © AFP 2022

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