In Gee Chun stumbles, sets up epic final day at KPMG Women’s PGA

in gee chun swings

BETHESDA, Md. — We officially have a golf tournament at Congressional Country Club.

Through 36 holes, though, that didn’t seem to be the case.

In Gee Chun, a short-hitting major champ from South Korea, jumped out to an early lead at the KPMG Women’s PGA and her name has graced the top of the leaderboard ever since. And while Chun’s name remains atop the boards scattered across Congressional’s grounds, the margin between her and the field has narrowed.

Just three shots separate Chun from her chasers as the sun sets over Washington D.C. on Saturday night. When she arrived at the course this morning, that gap was six.

“It was a little tough out there,” Chun said. “If it’s going to be too easy, then I feel it is boring.”

It certainly wasn’t boring on Saturday afternoon. Although the starting margin was six, with major champs and up-and-comers in pursuit, that lead was anything but assured.

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After two days of a near-clinical dissection of Congressional’s new-look Blue Course, Saturday was a struggle for Chun. Entering Round 3, the 27-year-old had made just three bogeys all week. On Saturday, she surpassed that total with four, and made a double as well, on her way to a three-over 75.

However, the two-time major champ remained upbeat when she faced the media following the round.

“I’m so proud of myself because I hang in there,” Chun said. “I’m so excited and looking forward to an exciting final round already.”

If Chun wants to add to her major total, she’ll have to hold off a host of challengers that includes major winners and top-10 ranked players. Although her playing partners on Saturday — Jennifer Kupcho and Lydia Ko — didn’t have their best stuff, other capable players moved up the board to put pressure on her lead.

Just three shots back sits a trio of formidable foes in Lexi Thompson, Sei Young Kim and Hye Jin Choi. Thompson and Kim each have a major win to their credit, while Choi has hoisted a major trophy on the Korean LPGA Tour.

“I’m just happy that I’m putting myself in contention,” Thompson said after shooting a third-round 70. “I know I’m in a good state with my game and just my mental state, so going out tomorrow enjoying the walk with my caddie … Whatever score I shoot, I shoot.”

Thompson and Choi each shot two-under 70 in Round 3 and will play alongside Chun in the final grouping. Kim posted 71 on Saturday and will tee off in the penultimate grouping.

Hannah Green, the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA winner, sits a shot further behind at four under, while major winners Brooke Henderson and Jennifer Kupcho will enter the day three under.

If Chun didn’t want it to be boring, she got her wish. Sunday looks as though it could come down to the wire.

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