Kim trails Thompson by a stroke after 2 roundsLexi Thompson took the third-round lead on Saturday in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational, positioning herself for a second tournament victory in four starts.
The 18-year-old Thompson shot a 5-under 67 in rainy conditions to reach 13-under 203 at Guadalajara Country Club. She had a one-stroke lead over South Korea’s Kim In-kyung (I.K. Kim).
“The rain definitely affected us somewhat, and I teed off a little bit later with the delay,” Thompson said. “Controlling my yardages out here is pretty big and playing consistently. My irons were a lot closer today, and I dropped a few longer putts.”
Thompson won the 2011 LPGA Navistar Classic at 16, and took the LPGA Malaysia last month for her second tour title. She protected third-round leads in both victories.
“It gives me confidence going into tomorrow, but I know there’s a lot of great players right behind me, and I know I have to play well,” Thompson said. “I know I have to shoot another 4 or 5 under tomorrow. I’m just going to go out with the same attitude and just commit to every shot.”
After opening with a 72, she had a 64 - the best round of the week in the 36-player event - on Friday to pull within a stroke of second-round leaders Anna Nordqvist, Ryu So-Yeon and Pornanong Phatlum.
Kim, who won the event in 2010, birdied the final two holes for a 67 and had only 22 putts in the round.
“I really like this golf course,” Kim said. “I have a good feeling for the course, and I’ve been practicing. It’s just nice to see the result.”
Third-ranked Stacy Lewis was third at 11 under after a 67.
Ryu was another stroke back after a 71. Nordqvist and Pornanong each shot 72 to remain 9 under.
Top-ranked Park In-bee, No. 2 Suzann Pettersen and Lizette Salas were 8 under. Pettersen had a 70, Salas shot 71 and Park 72. Michelle Wie, the 2009 winner, was 7 under after a 67. Tournament host Lorena Ochoa won 27 LPGA Tour titles before retiring in 2010.