Lexi Thompson maintained her hold on first place, but fellow American Nelly Korda tied her atop the leaderboard with a field-best 7-under 63 on Saturday at the Pelican Women's Championship at Belleair, Fla.
Korda's round was tied for second-best of the entire tournament, leaving her and Thompson at 16-under 194 at Pelican Golf Club. Korda, the No. 1 player in the world, blasted eight birdies against one bogey to surge into a tie for first a day after she shot a 66.
"Yeah, I was hitting it better off the tee today and just gave myself some really good looks," Korda said. "I was stuffing it on the back nine. I'm pretty sure -- I mean, I had -- I missed probably a 10-footer on No. 10 and then I made 11, missed 12 -- I was pretty close there -- and then missed 13 as well.
"So I gave myself some really good looks, so at least going in the right direction. Yesterday I was doing the same thing. I just wasn't making as much. Today I think I just made a little bit more."
Thompson shot a 5-under 65 to tie Korda for a one-stroke lead. Her day was marked by six birdies and a bogey, and she and Korda will now be playing together Sunday.
"So I knew Lexi because I think I met her at Curtis Cup when (sister) Jess played with her," Korda said. "They were both really young. And even U.S. Open I remember them playing a lot of practice rounds together because they were like the young up-and-coming Americans. ... I definitely watched her on TV because I watched a lot wanting to see Jess.
"But, yeah, I mean, what she's done in her career is amazing, especially at such a young age. You would think she's so much older than she is. ... I had to double take. Wait, you're only that old? Only a year and a half or two years older than me? Like what?"
Jennifer Kupcho is a stroke back in third at 15-under after scoring a 4-under 66. Two golfers, Christina Kim and South Korea's Sei Young Kim, shot identical 5-under 65 rounds, and they are both tied for fourth place.
"I feel like greens are faster than last year, so green play really important this week," Sei Young Kim said. "And then, yeah, and also need really good iron shot this week."
The rest of the top ten includes New Zealand's Lydia Ko (64) and Thailand's Patty Tavatanakit (64), tied for sixth at 13-under, Ireland's Leona Maguire (68) in eighth at 12-under and two golfers tied for ninth at 10-under, Thailand's Pornanong Phatlum (67) and Mexico's Maria Fassi (68).
The Philippines' Yuka Saso, who recently made the decision to choose her Japanese citizenship before she turns 22, is currently tied for 17th place.
Saso shot a 70 in the third round for an 8-under total of 202, tied with five other players.