RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson know exactly what's at stake today at Mission Hills - for themselves and perhaps for the LPGA Tour as a whole.
"I think it's great for the tour and it's going to be a lot of fun," Wie said Saturday after tying Thompson for the third-round lead in the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
"I think Lexi is a really entertaining golfer. I like to think I'm somewhat entertaining as well. So, I think the both of us paired together is great."
Michelle Wie waves to the gallery after a birdie on the first hole during the Kraft Nabisco Championship’s third round Saturday.
Wie and Thompson are each trying to win their first major title, a victory that would be a big boost to the tour, which felt slighted and upstaged this week when Golf Digest put model Paulina Gretzky on its cover after long ignoring the top female players.
"I know people will be really excited about tomorrow's pairing, but I'm not really going to worry about it," Thompson said. "I'm just going to go out and have fun."
The 24-year-old Wie, a Punahou School graduate, shot a bogey-free 4-under-par 68 to match the 19-year-old Thompson at 10-under 206, two shots in front of Charley Hull, 18, and five-time major champion Se Ri Pak.
LPGA KRAFT NABISCO CHAMPIONSHIP
Saturday's Third Round
At Rancho Mirage, Calif.
|Se Ri Pak||67-70-71—208||-8|
Thompson settled for a 69 after missing a three-foot par putt on the 18th hole. She also missed two short birdie putts on the front nine.
"I'm getting looks at birdies and just waiting for a few more to drop," Thompson said.
Hull birdied the 18th for a 66, the best round of the day. Pak shot 71.