Ally McDonald clings to 1-shot LPGA lead

Ally McDonald. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)

Ally McDonald. (Picture by Mike Comer/Getty Footage)

Ally McDonald, hoping to win her first LPGA title, fired a three-under par 69 for a one-stroke lead after Saturday’s third spherical of the Drive On Championship.

The American reeled off 4 birdies in 5 holes contained within the midst of her spherical to face on 13-under 203 after 54 holes at Reynolds Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Georgia.

“I carried out some actually safe golf after I settled in,” McDonald talked about. “I am excited with the place I am in. Mentally I actually truly actually really feel I dealt with myself very accurately. Able to sort out tomorrow.”

Filipino Bianca Pagdanganan shot 69, the 22-year-old closing with back-to-back birdies to face second on 204 with American Danielle Kang third on 205, Spain’s Carlota Ciganda fourth on 206 and Australian Katherine Kirk fifth on 207.

World quantity 62 McDonald’s most attention-grabbing LPGA finishes have been two third-place showings, most easily nowadays lastly yr’s ShopRite Major.

She hopes for a breakthrough on her 28th birthday Sunday at an occasion that was created to fill in a spot between US occasions after the LPGA’s extraordinary Asian swing was worn out by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I am sitting on the lead. Individuals are going to be coming for the lead,” McDonald talked about. “It isn’t shying away from it. It is embracing the place I’m and try to not be complacent and simply exit and execute my sport plan.

“I am undoubtedly in an extra snug place realizing that what I’ve in me is ample. I’ve definitely not acquired to push and be elevated than I’m. It is merely trusting what I do know I can do.”

No spectators are allowed on the course nonetheless boaters on the lakeside enchancment honked horns for good shotmaking all by means of the spherical.

World quantity 233 Pagdanganan, the LPGA driving yardage chief who turns 23 subsequent week, hopes for her first LPGA triumph in solely her sixth expert begin.

Fifth-ranked Kang, who turned 28 on Tuesday gained the LPGA’s first two Covid-19 return occasions in August.

“I’ve bought to play significantly bit further aggressive,” Kang talked about. “Getting every little drawback collectively and simply firing from the beginning may presumably be fairly key.”

Kang was to have been inside the hunt for a 3rd consecutive LPGA crown in Shanghai this week ahead of Covid-19 worn out the occasion.

McDonald, who started the day with a one-stroke lead on Pagdanganan and Kang, opened with a bogey nonetheless bounced as rapidly as further with a birdie on the fifth.

“I in no way actually bought panicked after the primary gap,” McDonald talked about. “If one problem, might want calmed me merely to get that out of 1 amongst many greatest methods. Nonetheless I settled in and bought very snug. I am happy with what I did.”

She reeled off three birdies in a row beginning on the par-Three eighth, sturdy iron footage establishing transient birdie putts adopted by an extended effort from off the inexperienced at 10, to achieve 13-under.

McDonald lipped out from the perimeter on a birdie putt at 11 nonetheless birdied the par-5 12th to achieve 14-under.

Kang’s tee shot at 16 soared relevant and out of bounds and she or he wanted a 10-foot putt merely to rescue double bogey.

“I pushed it,” Kang talked about. “It was out by a pair inches. I used to be fairly upset on account of solely a waste of two footage relevant there minimal. Merely not the time to do this.”

When McDonald chipped to some ft and sank a par putt at 16, she reclaimed a four-stroke lead.

McDonald missed the inexperienced on the par-Three 17th, barely reached the perimeter with a pitch on one amongst many greatest methods to bogey, whereas Pagdanganan birdied 17 and 18 to grab second alone.

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