Five Things to Know About Round 3
By Amy Rodgers
Cheyenne Knight takes the lead into the final day in L.A.
All the hard work is paying off for Cheyenne Knight, who holds a two-stroke lead ahead of the final round of the JM Eagle LA Championship presented by Plastpro. Last week in her hometown of Houston, Knight made a run up the leaderboard at the Chevron Championship, the first major of the year. Knight recorded a top 20 for the week and opened up about the work she’s put in over the last year to get her swing into a position that could help her get back in the winner’s circle for the first time since 2019.
“I feel like the last year I've really put in just the time, kind of understanding what I need to do to play well, and me and my coach Joey, we know the positions that I need to get into to play well. That's what we're really looking at,” Knight said at the season’s first major championship. “I know I can't play well from getting too steep from the top, so it's always just managing that.”
Rookie Hae Ran Ryu returns to Wilshire Country Club
Hae Ran Ryu may be new to the LPGA Tour in 2023 but she is no stranger to Wilshire Country Club. In 2018, Ryu received a sponsor exemption into the field to compete in the LPGA Tour’s return to the Los Angeles area for the first time in more than a decade. Back then, Ryu was the No. 93 ranked amateur in the world and had won the 2017 Evian Championship Junior Cup and qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open that same year.
Although she missed the cut in at Wilshire Country Club in 2018, she has certainly grown as a player in her return to the club. The rookie missed only a single fairway on Saturday and needed only 26 putts en route to a round of 67 to sit two strokes back of the lead through 54 holes. Ryu earned medalist honors at the LPGA Q-Series and received membership to the Tour for 2023.
Gemma Dryburgh fights through fear
Gemma Dryburgh went out early on moving day and posted a round of 66 to give herself a chance come the final round at the JM Eagle LA Championship presented by Plastpro. Saturday’s low round was a nice bounce back for Dryburgh who struggled to a round of 76 on Friday to drop from T2 to T22 and five back of the lead. Dryburgh says she realized she had been playing with fear on Friday and set out on Saturday to regain the confidence that helped her win for the first time last season on the LPGA Tour.
“I've showed myself that I can play out here and I can hit good shots when I need to,” Dryburgh said. “I can win out here and I'm good enough to do that. I've showed myself that I did it in Japan, so there's no reason I can't do it tomorrow. Yeah, we'll see what the leaders end up at. I'm guessing I'll be a few back maybe, but we'll see.”
Dryburgh sits solo fourth and three back of the lead through 54 holes.
Nelly Korda takes on a tough course.
A week after Nelly Korda struggled to find her A-game at the Chevron Championship, the world No. 1 sits six strokes off the pace heading into the final round in Los Angeles. Korda, who carded a round of one under par 70 on moving day, has been challenged throughout the week by the small putting complexes and poa annua greens. Come Sunday, Korda will need to strike just the right balance that will allow her to climb up the leaderboard without getting penalized for being overly aggressive.
“It's difficult because I feel like on a golf course like this, if you attack more, you leave yourself putts above the pin, and then you have downhill putts,” Korda said about her plan for Sunday’s final round. “Trying to stay aggressive but keep myself some good looks at birdie is going to be key. But this is a tough golf course. You can get into a lot of trouble really, really fast, so just being aware of sticking to a routine and sticking to a plan is going to be very important.”
How to watch
The final round of the inaugural playing of the JM Eagle LA Championship presented by Plastpro will air live on Golf Channel from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. ET.