Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia Third Round Recap

Lexi Thompson
Photo Credit: Stanley Chou/Getty Images

Rolex Rankings No. 21 Lexi Thompson shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 to take a three-shot lead after the third round of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia. Thompson’s three-day total of 17-under 196 leads second-round leader Ilhee Lee who shot 1-under 70 on Saturday. No. 2 Suzann Pettersen (67) and No. 8 Shanshan Feng (70) are in a tie for third at 11-under par and six shots back.

Play was suspended for an hour and six minutes, starting at 10:56 a.m. local time due to lightning in the area. But nothing was holding Thompson back from her third-round surge that featured a strong putting performance by the 18-year old.

“The last few events have actually been a lot better with my putting,” said Thompson. “I went back to my old style of putting and just went to how I was putting when I was really little. Hitting them a little firmer and staying a little farther away. So I'm feeling really confident with my putter, and mainly that is what putting is all about. It's just getting over the putter and saying you're going to make it.”

Thompson trailed second-round leader Ilhee Lee of South Korea by one shot at the start of the day and moved into a tie for the lead early after Lee missed a three-foot par putt on the par 4 2nd hole. She took the lead with her second birdie on No. 6 and extended her lead to four shots after two more birdies on Nos. 7 and 10.

“I think this game is all about momentum,” said Thompson. “Once you make a few birdies you feel good and just try to keep that going. But I'm just trying to focus on my game, not the other players I'm playing with. Ilhee and Shanshan are great players, so I had a really fun day today. Like I said, just focusing on my own game. That's all I can do. Just trying to make birdies when I can and pars on the holes that have difficult pin locations.”

Thompson picked up her final birdie of the day after sinking an 18-footer on the 13th hole and had her lead cut to three after Lee made a five-foot birdie putt on No. 18.

“Yeah, I knew that's going to be big for tomorrow,” said Lee on cutting the lead down to three shots.

Thompson’s three-day total of 17-under 196 marks a career low, improving on her previous 54-hole best of 201 at the 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic. The American is playing for her second LPGA Tour victory and first since the 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic when she became the youngest winner on Tour at the time.

Topics: Notes and Interviews, Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia