CAMBRIDGE, Ontario — Lexi Thompson shot a 67 for a 17-under 199 total and a one-stroke lead after the third round of the Manulife LPGA Classic on Saturday.
Fellow American Lindy Duncan was in second after a 67, followed by South Korea’s In Gee Chun (68) another shot back. Canada’s Alena Sharp (70), who was in a three-way for the lead with Thompson and South Korea’s Hyo Joo Kim, fell into a tie for fourth with world No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn (65) of Thailand.
Sharp, who’s from nearby Hamilton, had a share of the lead after two rounds for the first time in her 12-year LPGA Tour career, snapping 246 tournaments. She said she had to play a more defensive style due to the firmer greens and breezy conditions.
“It was good to get through this round,” Sharp said. “I didn’t hit it as great as I would have liked to but my putter saved me. I had a lot of up and downs.”
First-round leader Suzann Petterson had a 68 and was in a three-way tie at 203.
Canada’s Brittany Marchand, a Symetra Tour player who made the cut at an LPGA Tour event for the first time, was five shots off the lead after a 67. Five early birdies helped Marchand to a 31 on the front nine in warm, breezy conditions at Whistle Bear Golf Club. On the back nine, she bogeyed No. 10 but got the stroke back with a birdie on the 13th hole.
“I felt like I would probably be nervous today and I actually felt a lot more comfortable than I expected,” Marchand said. “I think that’s a good sign for tomorrow.”
Sharp, ranked No. 68 in the world, has one top-five finish this season. She posted a career-best fourth-place result at last year’s Canadian Pacific Women’s Open. She’ll have plenty of friends and family members on hand to watch her go for her first career LPGA Tour title.
“I feel like if I can get out there and get hot early and post the round, you never know what happens,” she said. “All the wins I’ve ever had when I was a kid I was always coming from behind. I like the position.”