GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Lexi Thompson moved into position for her second victory in her last four starts, taking the third-round lead Saturday in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational.
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 I.K. Kim.
"The rain definitely affected us somewhat, but I teed off a little bit later with the delay," Thompson said. "I think just 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 Navistar LPGA Classic at 16, and took the Sime Darby 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."
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After opening with a 72, she had a 64 – the best round of the week in the 36-player event – Friday to pull within a stroke of second-round leaders Anna Nordqvist, So Yeon Ryu and Pornanong Phatlum.
Kim birdied the final two holes for a 67. She won the 2010 tournament.
"Winning is amazing, but just being able to play golf and just have fun, that's the first thing," Kim said. "If I can win twice, I mean, why not, I think it would be really great."
She had only 22 putts in the round.
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"At the start of the day it was pouring down, so we didn't expect the rain, but everybody was in the rain," Kim said. I had a good start, I made birdie on 1 and 2, and I think that kind of helped going forward. Basically, I really like this golf course. 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 Phatlum each shot 72 to remain 9 under.
Top-ranked Inbee Park, 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.