Laura Diaz remains in the lead at the LPGA’s Marathon Classic – but with her first round of the week in the 70s, a third-round 71, she has opened the door somewhat and shares the lead with Lee-Anne Pace after Saturday’s third round in Sylvania, Ohio.
Diaz opened par-par-birdie before a double bogey at the fourth, driven by a penalty for moving her ball, seemed costly. After running off four straight pars, however, she erased the double bogey with an eagle 2 on Highland Meadows’ driveable par-4 ninth.
“The way I look at golf is you don’t get strokes back – we start a round and we add strokes to our scorecard on every hole,” Diaz said. “I think that it was nice to have a two instead of a three our four on 9.
“… I got the right kick on my tee shot. By the way the crowd reacted, I could tell that it was close. It’s always nice to make eagles and give one for the Wounded Warriors.”
While Diaz looks for her first LPGA win since 2002, Pace seeks her first win on the tour. The South African recovered from back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 11-12 with birdies at Nos. 13-14. She scattered three other birdies throughout her round for a 68.
“All in all, I would like to have a good finish. Am I going to go for the win? Yes, of course I’m going to push for that,” Pace said. “At the end of the day you never can tell who will win. There are a lot the factors involved in that. I’ll just try and do my best.”
Jaye Marie Green and So Yeon Ryu are a shot back of the co-leaders, Green having shot the round of the day with a 63. Lydia Ko is another shot back at 9 under, followed by a pack of six players at 8 under that includes Women’s British Open champion Mo Martin and Cristie Kerr.
World No. 1 Stacy Lewis rose to 5 under and T-23 with a 68, her first sub-70 round of the week. Kraft Nabisco Championship winner Lexi Thompson is another shot back after a 66, also her best round of the week.
– ASAP Sports contributed