Stephanie Meadow moves into California contention

Australia’s Hannah Green struggled to a one-over 72 in Saturday’s third round but clings to a one-shot lead at the Palos Verdes Championship in Palos Verdes Estates, California.

Stephanie Meadow carded a consecutive round of 68 to propel herself up the Leaderboard, four shots off Green at the top. Three of the Antrim native’s four birdies on the day came on the front nine, with just the one bogey during her third round.

After a 67-66 start to the tournament, the leader Green recorded five bogeys at the Palos Verdes Golf Club to sit at eight-under 205 heading into Sunday’s final round.

Lydia Ko of New Zealand shot 70 to sit alone in second at 7 under. Nine players are tied for third at 5 under, three shots back.

Green opened with consecutive bogeys on her first two holes. She would card two more bogeys on the front, sandwiched around an eagle on seven. She recorded a bogey and a birdie coming in.

“I got off to a horrendous start, I guess you could say,” Green said. “Just short-sided myself too many times today, so I was actually pretty happy with the 1-over score. Just hit a couple of funny wedge shots and also didn’t read the lies and the wind direction. ”

Ko’s round didn’t start much better. She recorded a double-bogey on the par-four second followed by a bogey on the fourth. She rebounded with three birdies going out and two more on the back before a bogey on 17.

“I think I made it a little harder than it was,” Ko said. “But considering how I started, to finish under for the day, upwards and onwards.”

Meanwhile in Mexico, world number two Jon Rahm maintained a two-shot lead headed into the final round of the Mexico Open at the Vidanta Vallara.

Rahm finished on three-under 68 with a 12-foot birdie putt on the final par-five hole.

“That one on 18 was the first one outside 10 feet I saw roll in,” Rahm told PGA.

“If I can just keep that going and make putts like I did the first two days, I think Tomorrow I’ll give myself a really good chance.”

It left the Spaniard on a total of 15-under 198. His last win was the 2021 US Open.

Americans Kurt Kitayama and Cameron Champ trailed an equal second at 13-under 200.

Graeme McDowell’s third round of 69 has him tied in the 45th heading into the final day of action on Sunday. He is 11 shots off Rahm.

Collected third round scores & totals in the LPGA JTBC Championship at Palos Verdes Golf Club, Palos Verdes Estates, California, United States of America

(USA unless stated, Par 71):

205 Hannah Green (Aus) 67 66 72

206 Lydia Ko (Nzl) 69 67 70

208 In-Bee Park (Cor) 71 67 70, Alexis Thompson 69 73 66, Min-Jee Lee (Aus) 63 73 72, Megan Khang 67 69 72, Marina Alex 70 68 70, Annie Park 68 69 71, Allisen Corpuz 68 72 68, Gemma Dryburgh (Sco) 66 74 68, Andrea Lee 70 68 70

209 Jin-Young Ko (Cor) 64 72 73, Ryann O’Toole 68 71 70, Sarah Kemp (Aus) 71 72 66, Albane Valenzuela (Swi) 66 74 69, Maude-Aimee Leblanc (Can) 69 68 72, Stephanie Meadow (NIrl) 73 68 68Hye-Jin Choi (Cor) 69 71 69, Jennifer Chang 65 72 72

210 Jennifer Kupcho 71 71 68, Nanna Koerstz Madsen (Den) 69 69 72, Madelene Sagstroem (Swe) 72 68 70, Xiyu Lin (Chn) 72 71 67, Thidapa Suwannapura (Tha) 69 71 70, Bronte Law (Eng) 75 69 66, Maria Fassi (Mex) 72 71 67, Kelly Tan (Mal) 68 72 70, Agathe Laisne (Fra) 68 74 68, Alana Uriell 69 70 71

211 Mina Harigae 71 72 68, Wichanee Meechai (Tha) 71 71 69, Ashleigh Buhai (Rsa) 70 74 67, Hae-Ji Kang (Kor) 71 72 68

212 Moriya Jutanugarn (Tha) 65 74 73, Ally Ewing 69 70 73, Sophia Schubert 69 71 72, Ana Belac (Slo) 68 73 71, Pauline Bouchard (Fra) 67 75 70

213 Paphangkorn Tavatanakit (Tha) 69 73 71, Emma Talley 70 70 73, Min Lee (Thailand) 68 74 71, Pernilla Lindberg (Swe) 75 68 70, Cheyenne Knight 72 70 71, Robynn Ree 70 68 75, Paula Reto ) 71 71 71

214 Amy Olson 69 75 70, Chella Choi (Kor) 72 72 70, Sarah Schmelzel 70 72 72, Hee-Young Park (Kor) 71 71 72, Atthaya Thitikul (Tha) 71 70 73, Ruixin Liu (Chn) 67 75 72 , Ruoning Yin (Chn) 74 68 72, Yae-Eun Hong (Cor) 75 69 70, Elizabeth Nagel 70 73 71, Sarah Jane Smith (Honor) 69 74 71

215 Anna Davis 71 72 72, Celine Boutier (Fra) 73 69 73, So-Yeon Ryu (Kor) 73 70 72, Wei Ling Hsu (Thailand) 71 72 72, Katherine Kirk (Aus) 69 73 73, Ayaka Furue (Jpn ) 67 73 75

216 Eun-Hee Ji (Kor) 70 74 72, Yu Liu (Chn) 71 73 72, Charlotte Thomas (Eng) 72 68 76, Casey Danielson 71 70 75, Amanda Doherty 69 74 73, Frida Kinhult (Swe) 70 71 75 , Kaitlyn Papp 71 70 75

217 Charley Hull (Eng) 65 75 77, Jodi Ewart (Eng) 71 73 73

218 Katherine Perry 70 71 77

Sanna Nuutinen (Fin) 73 71 75

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