Gerinac Piller clings to lead when darkness hits Bahamas
American Gerina Piller clung to a one-stroke lead when darkness halted Saturday`s third round of the Bahamas LPGA Classic while a dozen rivals lurked within two strokes of the lead.
Bahamas: American Gerina Piller clung to a one-stroke lead when darkness halted Saturday`s third round of the Bahamas LPGA Classic while a dozen rivals lurked within two strokes of the lead.
Only six of 74 players who made the cut earlier in the day managed to finish before sunset at the event, fighting to finish as planned Sunday in windy conditions after heavy rain washed out much of Thursday`s play.
Piller, seeking her first LPGA title, was three-under for nine holes to stand on 10-under overall, but a pack on nine-under included Americans Lexi Thompson, Brooke Pancake and Kelly Shon, Germany`s Sandra Gal, South Korean Kim Sei-Young and France`s Perrine Delacour.
"I was a little nervous on the first tee but I felt fine," Piller said. "(The key is) just minimize the mistakes. The wind can switch at any second, it can gust and that`s hard to deal with."
Thompson, seeking her fourth LPGA title, made the biggest charge into contention Saturday, making five birdies in a row to stand seven-under in the third round alone with two holes remaining. She began on the back nine and made her birdie run from the 15th through first holes, feeding in part off playing partner Stacy Lewis, who was six-under for the round.
"We probably had the best golf going on today, we had so many birdies," Thompson said. "The first two days, we were ball striking it well, just didn`t make that many putts. But we were definitely feeding off each other, off of birdies."
South Koreans Park In-Bee, Yoo Sun-Young and Park Hee-Young were on eight-under along with Thailand`s Ariya Jutanugarn and Americans Stacy Lewis and Brittany Lincicome.
Lewis birdied five of her first nine holes, then sandwiched birdies around a bogey at the par-3 third to stand six-under for the round with three holes to finish.
"Just going to bed with a good number posted so far, I`m looking forward to tomorrow," Lewis said. "Lexi and I are going to have to keep making birdies like we did and hopefully get off to a good start like we did today."
New 17-year-old world number one Lydia Ko of New Zealand was six adrift on four-under overall and one-under on her third round with three holes to finish.
Ko overtook Park In-Bee last Sunday for the top spot but the Korean could reclaim the rankings lead with a strong effort Sunday.
Pancake, Kim and Park In-Bee shared the lead after 36 holes and were in the last group with 11 holes yet to complete.