Young leads Lewis at ANA Inspiration, Spieth eyes another W

Final Round Preview — LPGA Tour – ANA Inspiration — Mission Hills Country Club (Dinah Shore Tournament Course) — Rancho Mirage, California—

Golf will crown its first major champion of 2015 Sunday in Southern California at the LPGA Tour’s ANA Inspiration.

Twenty-two year old rookie Sei Young Kim (10-under) slept on the 54-hole lead with her first major title in the balance. Young shot 69 Saturday to increase her lead by a shot. She leads former Rolex Ranking No. 1 Stacy Lewis by three shots.

Young, a 50-to-1 long shot to start the week at, won earlier this season in the Bahamas at the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic for her maiden LPGA Tour win. Not your typical “rookie,” Kim is 22nd in the world rankings and a multi-time champion on the Korea LPGA Tour.

Without a victory this season, Lewis was 6-under through 14 holes on her third round on Moving Day. She had the lead at 9-under but made three bogeys down the stretch andmissed two short birdie putts.

Lewis, No. 3 in the world ranking, made this championship her first win and first major triumph back in 2011 winning at Mission Hills Country Club.

Look for the American, who was a 9-1 pick heading into the tournament, to apply some pressure to Young and to herself early Sunday. She last won on tour in June 2014 with several near-misses and runner-up since then.

Ariya Jutanugarn is T-3 at 6-under alongside past champions at Mission Hills Morgan Pressel and Brittany Lincicome. Expect at least one of these players to make a run at the title in the final round. All three were long-shots to win, according to the betting odds. Jutanugarn was 50-1. Lincicome is 80-1. Pressel, the round one overnight leader, was listed at 100-1.

Defending champion Lexi Thompson (4-under and T-9) may be too far back. Rolex Ranking No. 1 Lydia Ko will be denied for maiden major. She is T-48 after back-to-back over-par rounds.

Other Golf news:

  • Inbee Park, who won four of the last 10 majors in women’s golf, is T-14 at 3-under and seven back heading into the final round at Mission Hills. Park won last season’s second major at the KPMG Women’s LPGA Championship.
  • Jordan Spieth, 4th in the Official World Golf Ranking, leads the PGA Tour’s Shell Houston Open through 54 holes. Spieth (14-under) is a shot clear of Scott Piercy, Johnson Wagner and Monday qualifier Austin Cook. Piercy and Wagner both have multiple PGA Tour wins on their resumes. For Spieth, he has three wins in his last 11 worldwide starts.
  • Spieth was runner-up last week to Jimmy Walker at the Valero Texas Open after winning the Valspar Championship two weeks ago to finish off the Florida Swing.
  • Several Green Jacket hopefuls are tuning up for the Masters this week. Patrick Reed, who made an ace Saturday in round three play, and Keegan Bradley are both T-10 in Houston, while Sergio Garcia and Hunter Mahan sit T-12 heading into the final round. A Top 10 heading into Augusta would be welcome momentum for any player.
  • Wagner and Cook, who led much of Saturday’s round in Houston until a double bogey at No. 15, were both listed as 250-1 betting super long shots to win the Shell Houston Open. At 100-1, Piercy is certainly a threat to win Sunday. He opened the week with a 63 at the Golf Club of Houston.