Vongtaveelap and Chung share first place in Stage 2 | LPGA

The second leg of the LPGA Championship and Epson Tour Qualifier is officially drawn with a 54-hole course at Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Florida. What started as an eight-way bulletproof garter dwindled to two women at the top. Natthakritta Vongtaveelap and Karen Chung sit two strokes in front of the rest of the field at 7-under.

Shooting a 4-under in the third, Vongtaveelap carded a lone birdie and an eagle in the front nine of the Panther Course, as well as four consecutive birdies on the backstretch. The Thais did well in the first stage, shared second place, and are on their way to achieving the best result in the second stage.

“I am excited,” said Vongtaveelap. “And proud of myself. Today my game was great.”

Chung combed three birdies on the day for a 3rd round under 2. The New Jersey native is happy to see her name at the top of the leaderboard but is focused on staying in the top 45 to advance to the Q-Series. With unfavorable winds all week and rain expected in the final round on Sunday, Chung plans to keep her head held high and catch every shot as it comes.

“As long as I make it through, I will be happy,” Chung said. “The fact that I’m tied for the first time now makes me so much happier. But I’m not really going to think about it because I know tomorrow’s supposed to be a tornado. I’m just going to try to survive and we’ll see where it goes.”

Beniada Covannon, Shanetti Wansign, Miranda Wang, Allen Crouter and Selina Costabel follow closely in third with five fewer. Among the leading five was Wannasaen, who shot six consecutive birdies on the back nine of the Panther Course. The Thai says the best word to describe her tour was “proud” that she came off the track on fire.

“I feel proud [of myself]Because on the first run on the tiger, I couldn’t get the bird, Wannasaen said. “I just got three birdies, but this round I got more.”

Kuvanun and Wang both came out of the bogey from the back nine, carding seven and five birdies respectively. Costabile scored three birdies for one run under the third. Despite having four bogeys that day, Krauter managed to fight back five birdies and keep her name near the top of the leaderboard.

Members of the Epson Tour continue to shine through Round 3, with six players on the tour finishing in the top ten. Zhong (-7), Covannon (-5), Kostabel (-5) Maria Stackhouse (-4), Jing Yan (-4), Louise Ridderstrom (-4), Becca Hoover (-3), Lacariber Abe (-3 ) Head to the final round at 3-under or better.

“I try not to be too hard on myself out there, so that was kind of the key,” Costabile said. “I made a little bogey but I just tried to remember that there is a lot of golf to play and stay in.”

Other notable Epson Tour players, with a 2-under league total, include Auston Kim, Kim Kaufman, Lauren Cox and Riley Rennell. A total of 30 players finished equal or better.

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