With one more round to go in the Shoprite LPGA Classic, they’re all chasing Mel Reid.
The 33-year old was consistent throughout the day at Seaview Resort in Galloway, New Jersey, but arguably her finest moment came at the halfway point. A 3-wood into the par-5 ninth hit the edge of the green and rolled several feet toward the hole, setting up an eagle. Three additional birdies propelled Reid to a 5-under 66 and 15 under par: one shot clear of second place.
England’s Reid tied for seventh at the ANA Inspiration and tied for fifth at the Cambia Portland Classic. A win at the Seaview this week would be her first career victory on the LPGA Tour.
Jennifer Kupcho and Jennifer Song may have something to say about that, though.
ShopRite LPGA Classic: Leaderboard
Kupcho, a former NCAA Division I champion with Wake Forest, carded a 6-under 65 to put herself into a tie for second. The 23-year old from Littleton, Colorado, dealt with pain in her upper back throughout the third round and still managed six birdies.
“Yeah, I mean, the golf course is definitely tricky,” said Kupcho. “I think it really actually makes me focus a lot more just because some of the holes you have to like hit right on the spot going into the greens. I’ve played through a lot of things in my career.”
Song equaled Kupcho with a 65 of her own. The 30-year old dual citizen of the U.S. and South Korea remained clean and finished strong, holing the last of her six birdies on No. 18.
“I love it,” Song said about her performance. “First and third round it was bogey-free, and I just want keep that going and have the same momentum going into tomorrow. I’m not going to change a lot of things. I think just focus on my rhythm and be aggressive out there.”
The top of the leaderboard remains fairly crowded, with a number of other contenders lurking. Fourth-place Nasa Hataoka of Japan finds herself within striking distance at 12 under. Malaysia’s Kelly Tan and California’s Ryann O’Toole are T-5 at 11 under, while Canadian Brooke Henderson is also in the hunt at 10 under, which leave her in seventh place.
“Yeah, first two days I didn’t really score as well as I felt like I was actually hitting it,” said Henderson, who achieved seven birdies and one bogey. “Today I kind of made some putts that I wasn’t expecting to make, so it was a little bit of a bonus. Evens out, but hopefully tomorrow I can continue to make all those putts that I made today.”