Maguire two off pace in LPGA finale

Leona Maguire didn’t drop a shot in her six-birdie 66 in Florida on Saturday
-14 C Boutier (Fra); N Hataoka (Jp), J Young Ko (Kor), N Korda (US); -13 G Lopez, M Harigae (US); -12 L Maguire (Ire), N Koerstz Madsen (Den), L Thompson (US); -11 M Khang (US), J Lee6 (Kor), M Lee (Aus)
Selected others: -10 G Hall (Eng); –9 A Nordqvist (Swe); -7 L Ko (NZ); -5 C Hull (Eng)
Full leaderboard

Ireland’s Leona Maguire moved to within two shots of the leaders at the LPGA’s season-ending Tour Championship after firing a third-round six-under-par 66.

Maguire shares seventh spot on 12 under as world number one Nelly Korda leads alongside Jin Young Ko, Japan’s Nasa Hataoka and Celine Boutier.

The winner of the event will secure a first prize of just over £1.1m.

France’s Boutier led by four overnight but could only manage a level-par 72 in Florida on Saturday.

Maguire, 26, started the day eight off the pace but her flawless six-birdie round moved the European Solheim Cup star into serious contention for a first LPGA victory.

The Cavan woman headed into this week’s event 17th in the LPGA rankings after an impressive season which has included two runner-up finishes in addition to a stunning Solheim Cup debut as Europe retained the trophy in the US.

Japan’s Hataoka hit the round of the day as her 64 moved her into the joint lead.

World number one Korda remained on course to secure the LPGA player of the year award ahead of Jin Young Ko as her 67 left sharing the lead with the Korean plus Boutier and Hataoka.

Ko, who has been been battling for the world number one spot all season with Korda, went into the week needing secure a top-two finish with the American finishing outside the top nine for her to snatch the player of the year title.

However, Olympic champion Korda’s continuing consistency means she looks set to hold on to the number one spot.

The four leaders are a stroke ahead of Mexico’s Gaby Lopez and American Mina Harigae with Maguire sharing seventh alongside her European Solheim Cup team-mate Nanna Koerstz Madsen and Lexi Thompson.

Britain’s former Women’s Open champion Georgia Hall will go into the final round four off the pace after carding a 71 on Saturday with compatriot Charley Hull nine adrift after her 67 following a damaging 75 on Friday.

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