The final day of the LPGA season is shaping up to be a thriller.
Four golfers ended Saturday tied for first place after three rounds of the CME Group Tour Championship at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla. The final 18 holes will determine whether someone from the first-place pack — Nelly Korda, Jin Young Ko, Nasa Hataoka and Celine Boutier — or someone else from further down the leaderboard will seize the title.
Boutier entered the day with a four-stroke lead, but she shot even-par 72 to allow others to close the gap. That included Hataoka, who fired an 8-under 64 for the best score of the third round.
Ko shot a 6-under 66 and Korda recorded a 5-under 67 to join the crowd of leaders. All of them sit 14-under par after three rounds.
Boutier said she needed to refocus in the final round, particularly on the putting greens.
“Even though I’ve been in this position before, I’ve only won twice on tour, and there are so many good players in the stretch,” Boutier said. “So I just feel like I just, again, have to keep focusing on my game and try to get as confident as I can in my putting (Sunday) and see what happens.”
Meanwhile, Ko will try to maintain the confidence that she cultivated Saturday.
“I was feeling I can make every putt on (the) front nine,” Ko said. “I had a great round, but I had a lot of good shots, good putts on (the) front nine. But I had a lot of (missed shots) on the back nine.
“But it’s pretty good. I was shooting better than (Friday), so it was fine.”
One stroke back of the leaders, Gaby Lopez and Mina Harigae are tied for fifth at 13-under par for the tournament. Both players shot 3-under 69s on Saturday.
A three-way tie for seventh place includes Leona Maguire, Nanna Koerstz Madsen and Lexi Thompson at 12 under par for the tourney.
The winner stands to receive a $1.5 million prize.