30th March 2014 | Sunshine Ladies Tour
Simon holds firm at Kia Classic
Americans Lizette Salas and Christie Kerr replaced second round leader Dori Carter from the United States at the top of the third round leaderboard, but South Africa’s Ashleigh Simon held firm to a tie for 11th and will head into today’s final round of the LPGA Tour's KIA Classic with the leaders in sight.
The 23-year-old Simon followed opening rounds of 71 and 69 with a 70 in the third round to stay at six-under-par 210 and within striking distance of Salas and Kerr at 10 under 206.
The leading pair is two shots clear of Carter, Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist, Auako Uehara from Japan and Shanshan Feng from China.
In Saturday’s third round, the Joburg pro wedged a bogey between birdies at the first and third and reeled in two more birdies at the 10th and 18th to offset a bogey at the par-three 14th.
Simon missed the cut in her LPGA Tour start at the JTPC Founders Cup in Arizona a week ago, but has been very solid in her second appearance in California and has only dropped four shots in 54 holes at the Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad.
If she can warm up the putter in Sunday’s final round, the three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour champion could definitely haul in the leaders.
PHOTO – Ashleigh Simon; credit Dale Boyce