Tue. Dec 6th, 2022

The biggest check in women’s golf came after Leona Maguire scored a third-round best, sharing the top of the CME Group Tour Championship leaderboard with Lydia Ko.

The 27-year-old Irishwoman started the day seven strokes behind her New Zealand rival, but entered the competition with a desperate 63 in 2016, just one of Ko’s end-of-season tournament record.

The 20th-ranked player had nine birds, including five, on the six-hole run between the eighth and thirteenth holes at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida, to finish under 15 with Ko.

“I got a call today,” Maguire said after the game.

“Caddy has been talking about patience and patience for the past two weeks and they’re going to fall. They finally did it today, which was nice.”

Maguire is chasing a second title to follow up with his trophy at this year’s Drive On Championship, and a victory at the $2m (£1.6m) event will put him over $4m (£3.2m). ) sign for career gains.

The third-placed Ko, meanwhile, had his worst round of the tournament this year, getting 70 cards after mixing four birdies and two bogeys.

The 25-year-old started the week with a one-point lead for LPGA player of the year and is on track to lift the second consecutive Vare Cup for the lowest scoring average.

Scotland’s Gemma Dryburgh and South Korea’s Jeongeun Lee were five strokes behind the under-10 leaders, while English women’s Georgia Hall and Jodi Ewart Shadoff were seven under and six under respectively.