Dottie Ardina rebounded from back-to-back bogey start and saved a two-under 70 but remained too far behind Aussie Katherine Kirk after three rounds of the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic in Oneida, Wisconsin on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
After a 70-69, Ardina dropped two shots in the first two holes but the Filipina bet birdied two of the next four the gunned down two more at the back for that 70 for joint 41st at seven-under 209 heading to the final 18 holes of the $2 million event.
But she fell 13 shots behind as Kirk sustained her form and fired a 65 to post a 196 aggregate, four shots clear of South African Ashleigh Buhai, who had a 200 after a 65.
Ayako Uehara of Japan also shot a 65 and was tied for third at 203 with Jodi Ewart Shadoff of England, who posted a 66.
The 35-year-old Kirk couldn’t match her career-best 63 from Friday but remained on a roll. After a birdie-bogey start and another bogey at No. 5, she birdied eight of her final 13 holes and saved par on the closing hole by making a long putt.
“I know I can putt well, but I think I’m like pushing the limits right now,” Kirk said. “It’s fun. I mean, I made, I think, a 19-footer on 17 and a 19-footer there for par. It’s unexpected, but you certainly take them when you can.”
Over in Symetra Tour, Mia Piccio shot a second straight two-under 70 to stay tied at 15th at 140, five strokes behind American Erynne Lee, who sizzled with a 66 for a 135 as she grabbed a one-stroke lead over Thai Benyapa Niphatsophon, who carded a 67 for a 136.