#Xiyu Lin and Boutier make their move on moving day as they go 20-under at Siam Country Club Pattaya
In an eventful third round of the Honda LPGA Thailand 2022 Championship at Siam Country Club Old Course, Pattaya, Chonburi today (Saturday) Denmark’s Nanna Koerstz Madsen seized the lead with a six-under-par 66.
That bogey-free performance gave the 27-year-old a 21-under 195 total and a one-shot cushion over her nearest rivals, China’s Xiyu Lin and Celine Boutier of France. Xiyu also carded a 66, while Boutier shot a five-under 67 as they finished on 196.
On a great day for low scoring of the US$1.6 million event, where most of the world’s leading women’s players and sponsors’ exemptions are also battling it out for the all-new Honda HR-V e:HEV hole-in-one prize, Gaby Lopez of Mexico, Canadian Brooke M.
Henderson and joint overnight leader Nasa Hataoka of Japan were tied for fourth on 18-under 198, while Americans Alison Lee and Jennifer Kupcho were joint seventh on 199.
Fellow American Lucy Li shot the low round of the day alongside Lopez – an eight-under 64 that gave her a tie for ninth place with Australia’s Minjee Lee, who managed a 67, in their 200 total.
Nanna Madsen, still searching for a first win on the Tour, said: “I’m happy with the round. I didn’t make that many mistakes. Hit a lot of greens. Would have liked to make a couple more putts or at least get it to the hole, but I’m happy with the round overall. My driving was good.
“My irons were okay on a couple of holes and then a couple of loose ones here and there. (About going into the final round) it’s exciting. I don’t think I’ve been in the lead before but it’s exciting for tomorrow. You’ve just got to do what you normally do and see what it brings out for tomorrow. You have to stay patient and try to make a lot of the birdies but you can’t force them.Just stay patient and see if the putt drops.”
Xiyu Lin, who will also be in the final group tomorrow, said: “I am very happy with today’s performance because I got off to a slow start, couldn’t really make a putt or hit it close over the first couple of holes. Then my playing partner hit multiple birdies so I was just trying to keep up. The front nine was pretty average and then on the back nine I just kept telling myself to be patient, it’s going to come.
“Then it was a good little run, like four birdies in a row and then it was also nice to finish with another birdie. So I think I put myself in a really good position for tomorrow. (On the takeaway of the last three rounds) I kind of told myself that this course has lots of opportunities, so I really need to just get it going. I think I did really well in the first two rounds, and today, I mean, I had a slow start and I ended up doing really good, too. That’s a big positive for me. Then I know tomorrow is going to be the same. I guess everybody will be attacking and then we just hope for the best.”
Speaking of a hole-in-one, which she achieved six years ago at the 10th Anniversary of the Honda LPGA Thailand, Xiyu Lin said: “Oh, I hope I can recreate it. I mean, of course. Why not? But that hole (No 16) – it’s pretty hard to get a hole-in-one. Couple years ago I got so lucky. The ball was rolling halfway up the hill and then all the way down into the cup. Of course I would hope for the best of luck. I will try to go at the pin. But like today it was super hard.”
Boutier, seeking a third LPGA victory, said “I’m pretty happy with my score. I feel like I struggled a bit again with my driver today, but I was able to get some good pars and a few birdies coming in – I was pretty satisfied with the score. It’s been pretty enjoyable. I feel like I’ve had a lot of birdies, so that’s always positive.
“The greens are very receptive so you can be pretty aggressive out there. It’s kind of fun to see that there are a lot of birdie opportunities and even when you miss a few you know you can still come back with a few birdies coming in. And especially finishing with a par-5 – maybe I will be able to reach it tomorrow, so it’s kind of an exciting finish. (About the final round) Hopefully, I will be able to hit more fairways tomorrow because that will be making me more able to be aggressive on the approach shots. I think that’s my main goal for tomorrow.
Happy with her effort, Lopez said afterwards: “Well, this round was just very solid overall. Hit beautiful tee shots. Great iron shots. We putted nicely. So just getting myself in a good position for tomorrow. I’m going to try to stay aggressive, because there are plenty of birdies out there.
“(Talking about maximizing her game) probably off the tee I was very consistent and it was pretty straight and long, so I’m going to say that was a good advantage. I mean, it’s hard to really talk about improvements when you shoot eight-under, but I’m just staying patient for tomorrow.
“There are so many birdies out there and you don’t want to get impatient or ahead of yourself. Being able to stay calm, enjoy the moment, being mentally aggressive is going to be key tomorrow. I mean, it’s the same strategy as the last couple days. It is being really aggressive when I have to and patient when I need to. There are a couple pins out there that are probably going to get trickier for tomorrow, but it’s key to still be on the right of the green, in the right section and just give yourself as many chances as you can.”
Lucy Li, the talented 19-year-old Californian who is yet to make her mark on the Tour, said after her round: “I hit 17 greens and the one green I missed was two inches off the fringe. I think that was the main thing. And then I was putting really well. That one bogey I had was a three-putt. It was just really long. Other than that, I putted great. I hit it great. I chipped well. So that’s what you have to do when you shoot 64, right? (Also) I was really, really excited to play this week.
“You know, I’ve never – I haven’t played overseas that much, like in this kind of a setting. It’s always been a team event or something. Being here without my family for the first time at an actual tournament has been a little bit different. I’ve really enjoyed the tournament so far. I love the food here. It’s just really hot.”
The tournament marks the 15th anniversary of the Honda LPGA Thailand Championship which will reward the winner with prize money of US$240,000, while the runner-up will receive US$148,877 and third place US$108,000.