Wie moves into share of Kraft Nabisco lead
Rancho Mirage, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Michelle Wie carded a 4-under 68 on Saturday to meet Lexi Thompson atop the leaderboard of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the LPGA Tour's first major of the season.
Thompson, who held a share of the second-round lead, bogeyed her final hole to close out a 3-under 69 and join Wie at 10-under-par 206.
Wie and Thompson are both seeking their first major victory.
"It will be great playing with Michelle tomorrow. We both have very similar games and she's obviously a great player," Thompson said about being paired with Wie for the final round. "We're just going to be bombing it out there tomorrow."
Third-round co-leader Se Ri Pak shot a 1-under 71 and sits in a tie with Charley Hull for third place. Hull fired the low round of the day on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club with a 66 to meet Pak at 8-under 208.
Shanshan Feng (72) and Chella Choi (69) shared seventh at 5-under, while last year's Women's British Open winner Stacy Lewis (69) is among a group of six players tied for ninth at minus-4.
Wie opened her round with an 18-foot birdie putt at the first to move to 7- under and meet Thompson and Pak atop the leaderboard, but Thompson answered with a 2-putt birdie at the second to claim the outright lead.
Pak birdied the fourth to also reach 8-under. Thompson had a chance to maintain her 1-stroke lead with about a 3-foot birdie putt at the same hole, but her attempt lipped out to remain at minus-8.
Wie again grabbed a share of the lead with a 12-foot birdie putt at the sixth.
Thompson and Pak then both stuck their approaches within 10 feet at the seventh, but only Pak was able to convert her birdie putt to grab the lead at minus-9.
Wie briefly joined Pak with a birdie from inside five feet at the ninth before Pak followed with a lengthy birdie putt at the same hole to retake sole possession of first place at 10-under.
After Pak 3-putted for bogey at the 10th to fall back to 9-under, Wie rebounded from an errant drive at the par-5 11th with a short birdie putt to move atop the leaderboard at minus-10.
Thompson, meanwhile, had parred eight straight holes following her birdie at the second before kicking in a short birdie at the 11th to join Pak in second place.
Thompson then stuck her approach to three feet at the 12th and rolled in her birdie effort to grab a piece of the lead. She would later birdie the 15th to move ahead of Wie, who parred her final seven holes to end at 10-under.
"I just had a lot of fun out there today. I was hitting good shots and I could have made a couple more putts, but I made the putts I needed to make," said Wie, who has four career top-10 finishes at this event, including two as an amateur. "I'm just really excited for tomorrow. I'm just really going to enjoy myself."
Thompson parred the 16th and 17th before a 3-putt bogey at the 18th dropped her back into a tie with Wie entering the final round.
Pak had fallen well off the pace with bogeys at the 13th and 15th, but birdied the 16th to get back to 8-under.
Hull posted birdies at the seventh, eighth, ninth, 12th, 15th and 18th during her bogey-free round to race into contention.
"I think I'm getting used to the golf course," Hull said. "I wanted to finish with a birdie and I did ... Hopefully I can make a few more of them."
NOTES: Thompson has three career LPGA titles, including two last season at the LPGA Malaysia and Lorena Ochoa Invitational ... Wie has two career wins on tour but has not won since the 2010 Canadian Women's Open ... This is Hull's eighth start on the LPGA tour. She has made the cut in three of seven appearances, four of which were majors.
04/05 22:07:45 ET