After more than three years without a victory, In Gee Chun wasn’t about to let a pain in her neck slow down her climb up the leaderboard Saturday at the LPGA’s HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore.
The three-time winner on the tour focused on her putting after suffering a spasm in her neck earlier in the week, then carded six birdies for a 66 to reach 12-under 204 at Sentosa Golf Club. That was good for a one-shot lead over Jeongeun Lee6 and World No. 1 Jin Young Ko heading into Sunday’s final round.
After hurting her neck Thursday, she considered withdrawing but instead relied on stretching, help from on-site trainers and Advil. She said she has played within herself and let her putter do the talking.
“I tried to make good focus on the putting green because I have spasm in my neck, so I didn’t try to hit hard,” Chun told the LPGA after taking the third-round lead. “I think it went really well on the putting green. …. That’s how I made a good score today.”
Chun’s most recent victory was at the 2018 LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship. She also won the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open and the 2016 Amundi Evian Championship. She likely will need to make plenty more putts Sunday to hold off the player riding the hottest streak in the women’s game.
Jin Young Ko plays a shot from the ninth tee during her third round at the HSBC Women’s World Championship on March 5, 2022, at Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore. (AP/Paul Miller)
Ko shot a third-round 69, her 14th consecutive round in the 60s. That matched an LPGA record she already shared with Annika Sorenstam and So Yeon Ryu. She is in pursuit of her 13th LPGA victory and her sixth in her past 10 starts.
Lee6 had the lowest round of the day, carding seven birdies – six of them in a front-nine 31 – and an eagle to charge up the board with a 7-under 65 to tie Ko in second at 11 under par. Lee6 has one win on the tour, the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open.
American Danielle Kang fired a third-round 68 to climb into a three-way tie for fourth place at 9 under with Atthaya Thitikul (70) and Amy Yang (71) after three rounds. Brooke Henderson (71) was another shot back at 8 under.