Lexi Thompson continues to sizzle

Lexi Thompson. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Lexi Thompson. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

Lexi Thompson is looking at a wire-to-wire redemption at the Kingsmill Championship.

Lexi Thompson is set up for a wire-to-wire win Sunday afternoon at the LPGA‘s Kingsmill Championship. Thompson’s third round 2-under par 69 gave her a slight edge over the chasing pack, now headed by In Gee Chun, who will start Sunday’s final round trailing Thompson by 3 shots.

Joanna Klatten will lead off fourth round play solo at 8:55am. Thompson and Chun will tee off at 2:55pm ET Sunday, right behind Minjee Lee and Sei Young Kim who, at 9-under par, are sharing the third spot on the Kingsmill leaderboard with Lydia Ko.

Ko will play with rookie Madelene Sagstrom who looks to have finally found her game. Sunday is an important round for the rookie who looked ready to set the world on fire last year when she was dominating the Symetra Tour. Despite her potential, Sagstrom has missed four cuts in six Tour starts this year and finished well down the leaderboard at the two events where she played the weekend, the Kia Classic and the LOTTE Championship. Now, with three rounds of steadily improving play, she’s going into the final round at 7-under par and trailing Lexi Thompson by 7 shots.

A high finish at the Kingsmill would give Sagstrom a big boost up the Rolex Rankings and help her secure what every rookie is chasing, a 2nd year of playing eligibility. Sagstrom’s game does seem to be smoothing out and playing with the world no. 1 may help to settle and focus her, even though Ko is dealing with her own set of problems right now.

Disappointments: Piller, Jutanugarn, Nordqvist, Lang

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Gerina Piller signed for a disappointing 2-over par 74 and has dropped back to 6-under par going into the final round. With a strong finish PIller could finish in the top 10, but that wasn’t what she had in mind when she started the third round alongside Thompson.

Defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn goes into Sunday at 4-under par and trailing the lead by 10 shots. She’s keeping company with Anna Nordqvist, Brooke Henderson, and Brittany Lang. They’ve all delivered competent rounds but none of them has been able to match Lexi Thompson’s consistent, confident, powerful play.

The indomitable Cristie Kerr signed for a 3-under 68 today. It was a good round, but too little, too late for the three-time Kingsmill champion. She’ll have to take another run at that 4th win on the River Course in 2018.

Next: Ko, Piller are good, Lexi Thompson is better

Golf Channel begins live coverage of the final round at the Kingsmill Championship at 5pm ET. It’s not too late to put some money on Lexi Thompson. The oddsmakers are giving her 4/7 for the win at this point.