The 3rd round at the LPGA Marathon Classic presented by Owens corning & O-I unfolded just about as I predicted. The round began with Alison Walshe (USA), Beatriz Ricari (Spain) and Paula Creamer (USA) sharing the lead at -9. Brittany Lang (USA) came off the tee hot and carded 2 birdies, looking like she was going to rip the course apart, then cooled off, finished the round at -5 and right where she’d started, sharing 20th for the tournament. Then Ricari pulled ahead of Creamer with a birdie on her opening hole. Creamer birdied her 3rd hole and pulled even with Ricari. While Ricari and Creamer were sinking birdie putts, Walshe was struggling with her putter and carded 2 bogeys. With a string of birdies on the first 9, Jodi Ewart Shadoff (England) moved up to the crowded top slot on the board and then she also cooled off, finishing the round at 3 under par and sharing 6th place on the board, 4 shots off the lead. When the last putt had dropped, Ricari and Creamer were both at -12 and sharing the lead, 3 shots ahead of their closest competitors.
Defending champ So Yeon Ryu (South Korea) is still waiting for her fortune cookie to make good. Ryu started and ended the day sharing 11th place tie on the board with Alison Walshe, amateur Lydia Ko (New Zealand) and Angela Stanford (USA) among others. At 6 shots off the lead, all of them carded too many bogeys and not enough birdies today.
Inbee Park (South Korea) and Stacy Lewis (USA), the Rolex #1 and #2 ranked players in women’s pro golf, are even further down the board. Park, still trying to recover the fairy dust for her putter, started her round with a disastrous double bogey, used a mind-boggling 32 putts to get through the round, and finished the 3rd round at 1 shot over par. Lewis outperformed Park by 3 shots, carding -3 for the round. But 4 bogeys and a double cast a shadow over Lewis’s 2nd round that she couldn’t blow away today. At the end of the 3rd round Lewis was 10 shots off the lead. Both Park and Lewis will need a 4th round miracle to catch Creamer and Ricari.
The Golf Channel will provide live coverage of the Marathon Classic, 2-4pm EST and I’ll be back with the tournament wrap-up Sunday evening.