Rose Zhang Among Top Movers On Saturday
It’s called “Moving Day” for a reason, and there were a handful of golfers who took full advantage of Saturday at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
While Leona Maguire holds the lead at 7-under through 54 holes at Baltusrol Golf Club there are a few big names now nipping at her heels thanks to some tidy third-round efforts.
Jenny Shin shot a 5-under 66 Saturday, tied for the low round of the week. She tied Anna Nordqvist, who also shot 66 on Saturday. It was an impressive bounce back for the multi-time major champion, as Nordqvist opened the championship with rounds of 74-73. The Swede is now at even par through 54 holes.
“I like the challenge (of Baltusrol), but I just really found it hard to focus the last two days, but I felt like today I was much better in the zone,” Nordqvist said.
Megan Khang, Stephanie Meadow, Min Lee, and the ShopRite LPGA Classic winner from two weeks ago – Ashleigh Buhai – all came in with 4-under 67s on Saturday.
Khang is looking for her second top-10 finish in a major this season after finishing tied for ninth at the Chevron Championship. She admitted she got overwhelmed with the stage and the challenge Baltusrol was presenting in the third round, but she had a solid heart-to-heart with her caddie, Jack, on the third hole of the day.
“This golf course, it definitely gives me a heart attack, I swear, every time I get on the tee. It's a major event. KPMG does a great job picking historical tracks, and you knew coming in that it was going to be a challenge, and just got to embrace it,” Khang said.
Amongst those who shot 3 under on Saturday include Rose Zhang and Lauren Coughlin.
Zhang, who is playing her first KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, is at 1 under through 54 holes and is firmly in the mix to notch a top-10 finish in her major debut as a pro.
“You can't make that many mistakes,” Zhang said about her biggest lesson-learned in her maiden major championship since turning professional last month. “Every part of my game needs to be an ‘A’ game. We'll see how everything turns out, but hopefully if I put myself in the right positions on the golf course, we'll be able to have a chance.”
Zhang ended her Saturday with a bang, cozying up a 5-wood to just three feet from 219 yards away on her closing hole to make an eagle on the par-5 18th.
“I felt like it was my best shot the entire day. I felt like my swing was really solid. It was way better than the first couple days. Finally getting in the groove,” Zhang said.
Coughlin, meanwhile, had a nice bounce back on both Friday and Saturday after opening with a 75 on Thursday. Coughlin has had just one top-10 result in her LPGA Tour career but is tied for sixth through three rounds in New Jersey. She’s looking forward to a solid finish to her week.
“Even where I am at this point this year compared to last year, just how much I've improved is kind of crazy,” Coughlin said. “I'm just excited. I've worked really hard. Sometimes it doesn't mean it shows, but it's kind of nice that it's showing this week.
“A win regardless would be awesome, but if I could do it in a major, it means that much more.”
With moving day now in the rear-view mirror, championship Sunday is just ahead. And with a bunched-up leaderboard, many of those who played well in the third round are looking for more in the finale.