LPGA Drive On Championship R3

Austin Ernst takes 1-shot lead into final day

March 04-07
Golden Ocala Golf Club, Ocala, Florida
$1,500,000
Round 1, Round 2, Round 4




Austin Ernst made four birdies and a single bogey over the first eleven holes and parred all the way back to close with a 69 for the solo lead at 13-under 203 in the LPGA Tour’s Drive On Championship.


“I didn’t quite have it ball-striking-wise today,” said Ernst. “I hit a few good shots, but then kind of sprayed a few drives and kind of had to work a little bit harder that I have had to work the last couple days.”

“I know I need to go play well. I can’t not play well and win, so it’s going to be the same type stuff. Obviously, sleeping on the lead the last two days I know what to expect. I’ve slept really well.”



Her overnight co-leader Jennifer Kupcho eagled the par-5 18th to get back within one shot of the lead with a 2-under 70.

“I actually was like standing on the tee and I was like, `I feel an eagle coming on.’ So, it was pretty cool to do it,” said Kupcho. “But when I got down there to the fairway I definitely didn’t think it would be possible to get it close and I was not aiming anywhere close to where my ball went, but it happened to go right at the pin and carried by a couple yards, carried the water by a couple yards, and ended up in a good spot. I was able to just make the putt.”


Kupcho, who has yet to win on Tour, overcame an early bogey at the 2nd and another at the 13th to stay in contention.

“It was just a tough start. The greens were really slow when it was raining and I ended up three-putting the second hole.”

Albane Valenzuela turned professional in November 2019 and did not have the rookie year she expected. First she suffered a nerve-related injury that prevented her from practicing, then Covid-19 put a halt to golf, then last November, her appendix nearly ruptured, requiring emergency surgery. Finally, a few weeks ago she caught the coronavirus.



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“I spent a lot of time in bed for the past five months,” said Valenzuela.

But on Saturday six birdies highlighted a bogey-free third round 66 and she lies six shots behind Ernst in a tie for third place alongside Patty Tavatanakit (69) and Jenny Coleman (70).

First-round co-leader Nelly Korda, who won the Gainbridge LPGA at Lake Nona last week, dropped back to 3-under after shooting four bogeys and a double bogey to close with a 76. She is tied at 11th with sister Jessica and four other players.




Pos.
Player
To Par
R1
R2
R3
Total
1
Austin Ernst
-13
67
67
69
203
2
Jennifer Kupcho
-12
67
67
70
204
T3
Jenny Coleman
-7
70
69
70
209
T3
Patty Tavatanakit
-7
70
70
69
209
T3
Albane Valenzuela
-7
70
73
66
209
T6
Carlota Ciganda
-5
71
65
75
211
T6
Danielle Kang
-5
72
70
69
211
T8
Brittany Altomare
-4
70
73
69
212
T8
Ashleigh Buhai
-4
70
70
72
212
T8
In Gee Chun
-4
70
73
69
212
T11
Jennifer Chang
-3
73
71
69
213
T11
Cheyenne Knight
-3
71
70
72
213
T11
Lydia Ko
-3
69
72
72
213
T11
Nelly Korda
-3
67
70
76
213
T11
Jessica Korda
-3
69
75
69
213
T11
Leona Maguire
-3
69
71
73
213
T11
Hee Young Park
-3
73
72
68
213
T18
Jaye Marie Green
-2
68
72
74
214
T18
Charley Hull
-2
74
70
70
214
T18
Megan Khang
-2
69
72
73
214
T18
Katherine Kirk
-2
69
72
73
214
T18
Jeongeun Lee6
-2
69
77
68
214
T18
Mel Reid
-2
70
74
70
214
T24
Aditi Ashok
-1
72
73
70
215
T24
Perrine Delacour
-1
71
74
70
215
T24
Lindy Duncan
-1
69
73
73
215
T24
Haeji Kang
-1
73
72
70
215
T24
Sei Young Kim
-1
72
70
73
215
T24
Nanna Koerstz Madsen
-1
73
71
71
215
T24
Gaby Lopez
-1
69
72
74
215
T24
Caroline Masson
-1
70
75
70
215
T24
Sophia Popov
-1
74
70
71
215
T24
Jennifer Song
-1
70
72
73
215
T24
Elizabeth Szokol
-1
72
73
70
215
T35
Nicole Broch Larsen
E
72
74
70
216
T35
Ally Ewing
E
71
73
72
216
T35
Kristen Gillman
E
75
70
71
216
T35
Cristie Kerr
E
74
69
73
216
T35
Bronte Law
E
70
73
73
216
T35
Ryann O’Toole
E
71
71
74
216
T35
Jing Yan
E
68
74
74
216
T35
Angel Yin
E
71
74
71
216
T43
Brooke M. Henderson
1
74
69
74
217
T43
Jaclyn Lee
1
74
71
72
217
T43
Xiyu Lin
1
72
70
75
217
T43
Yu Liu
1
70
70
77
217
T43
Stephanie Meadow
1
71
75
71
217
T43
Sung Hyun Park
1
73
73
71
217
T43
Mariah Stackhouse
1
69
74
74
217
T43
Lexi Thompson
1
74
69
74
217
T51
Georgia Hall
2
74
72
72
218
T51
Sarah Kemp
2
72
72
74
218
T51
Jane Park
2
70
76
72
218
T54
Tiffany Joh
3
73
71
75
219
T54
Stacy Lewis
3
71
73
75
219
T54
Haley Moore
3
75
71
73
219
T54
Anna Nordqvist
3
74
70
75
219
T54
Annie Park
3
71
72
76
219
T54
Sarah Schmelzel
3
71
74
74
219
T54
Jenny Shin
3
74
72
73
219
T54
Lindsey Weaver
3
72
74
73
219
T62
Cydney Clanton
4
74
72
74
220
T62
Daniela Darquea
4
72
74
74
220
T62
Laura Davies
4
75
69
76
220
T62
Dana Finkelstein
4
75
70
75
220
T62
Wichanee Meechai
4
73
73
74
220
T67
Dani Holmqvist
5
70
76
75
221
T67
Mi Jung Hur
5
69
72
80
221
T67
Eun-Hee Ji
5
75
70
76
221
T70
Mina Harigae
6
74
71
77
222
T70
Yealimi Noh
6
74
72
76
222
CUT
Celine Boutier
3
73
74
147
CUT
Sarah Burnham
3
73
74
147
CUT
Sandra Gal
3
76
71
147
CUT
Jiwon Jeon
3
73
74
147
CUT
Jin Young Ko
3
75
72
147
CUT
Mi Hyang Lee
3
75
72
147
CUT
Haru Nomura
3
75
72
147
CUT
Laura Restrepo
3
76
71
147
CUT
Angela Stanford
3
75
72
147
CUT
Marina Alex
4
74
74
148
CUT
Ssu-Chia Cheng
4
72
76
148
CUT
Azahara Munoz
4
73
75
148
CUT
Madelene Sagstrom
4
71
77
148
CUT
Lizette Salas
4
75
73
148
CUT
Alena Sharp
4
75
73
148
CUT
Lauren Stephenson
4
74
74
148
CUT
Anne van Dam
4
72
76
148
CUT
Pajaree Anannarukarn
5
74
75
149
CUT
Wei-Ling Hsu
5
73
76
149
CUT
Caroline Inglis
5
75
74
149
CUT
Brittany Lincicome
5
76
73
149
CUT
Mind Muangkhumsakul
5
72
77
149
CUT
Pornanong Phatlum
5
75
74
149
CUT
Robynn Ree
5
74
75
149
CUT
Jasmine Suwannapura
5
74
75
149
CUT
Maria Torres
5
74
75
149
CUT
Nasa Hataoka
6
75
75
150
CUT
Esther Henseleit
6
74
76
150
CUT
Giulia Molinaro
6
81
69
150
CUT
Gerina Piller
6
77
73
150
CUT
Linnea Strom
6
79
71
150
CUT
Amy Yang
6
76
74
150
CUT
Suzuka Yamaguchi
7
76
75
151
CUT
Jillian Hollis
8
76
76
152
CUT
Esther Lee
8
76
76
152
CUT
Liz Nagel
8
73
79
152
CUT
Chella Choi
9
76
77
153
CUT
Brittany Lang
9
74
79
153
CUT
Tiffany Chan
10
71
83
154
CUT
Maria Fassi
10
76
78
154
CUT
Caroline Hedwall
10
79
75
154
CUT
Pernilla Lindberg
11
78
77
155
CUT
Sarah Jane Smith
11
77
78
155
CUT
Jackie Stoelting
11
78
77
155
CUT
Muni He
12
82
74
156
CUT
Marissa Steen
12
76
80
156
CUT
Emma Talley
12
76
80
156
CUT
Alana Uriell
13
79
78
157
CUT
Katherine Perry-Hamski
14
79
79
158
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