Lexi Thompson shot a bogey-free five-under 66 on Saturday to take the lead into the final round of the US Women’s Open for the first time in her career with a one-shot edge over teenager Yuka Saso.
Thompson played a nearly flawless round in search of her first US Women’s Open title in her 15th try after first competing as a 12-year-old amateur in 2007. She made three birdies on the front nine and two more on the back nine to overcome a four-shot deficit heading into the day and take the lead at seven under.
She was the first player all week to make par or better on every hole in the round.
Saso made back-to-back bogeys on the back nine to fall out of the lead before recovering with a birdie at the par-five 17th to get back to seven under. She missed a 12-foot par putt on 18 and ended the day a stroke back.
New Jersey high school amateur Megha Ganne shot a 72 and was tied for third at three under with 2019 champion Jeongueun Lee6 of South Korea. China’s Shanshan Feng was fifth at two under, with Japan’s Nasa Hataoka and American Megan Khang the only other players under par at one under.
The 26-year-old Thompson hasn’t won an LPGA Tour tournament in nearly two years and won her only major was at the ANA Inspiration in 2014. She has four-top 10 finishes at the US Women’s Open, including a runner-up to Lee6 two years ago in Charleston.