Jennifer Kupcho takes a six-shot lead, ahead of defending champion Patty Tavatanakit, into the final round of The Chevron Championship.

On Saturday at The Chevron Championship, it was Jennifer Kupcho who set the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills ablaze. Nine birdies and one bogey later, Kupcho fired an eight-under-par 64 to set the low round of the week, as well as a new personal best, and sit at the top of the championship leaderboard at -16. Kupcho also trounced the 54-hole record at Mission Hills with her 200, which is also her lowest three-round score at any major championship.

After her sensational round, the 24-year-old said:

“Everything was working. I mean, seriously this week I think my putting is definitely the props. I have putted really well, and you got to make putts in a major championship.”

Jennifer Kupcho CC Rd3
Jennifer Kupcho - image credit LPGA/Getty Images

Kupcho enters Sunday not only looking for her first major championship title, but also to become the fourth Rolex First-Time Winner of the season. She’s only co-led/led after 54 holes once in her career, at the 2021 ISPS Handa World Invitational, where she ultimately finished third.

Kupcho has come close before in a major-championship setting, most notably in 2019 at the Amundi Evian Championship, finishing in a tie for second. It is that past experience plus a focus on her own game that Kupcho will use to her benefit on the final day at Mission Hills.

“I can't control what anyone else is doing, so if I just go out and play my game, I mean, someone else can go out and do what I did today. So really just go out and focus on hitting the fairways and greens and putting good strokes on putts.”

August National Women's Amateur

Her blistering round came on the same day as the conclusion of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, which Kupcho won the inaugural event in 2019. This year it was American Anna Davies who was crowned champion. When asked whether she had had time to listen or watch any coverage ahead of her round she said:

“I did. I listened to it on the way here. At stop lights I was watching it, but I listened. I mean, it's awesome for a 16-year-old to go there and win. I mean, I can't even imagine what I was doing at 16, so props to her, that's awesome. It's a great tournament. I'm sure she's really excited.”

Tavatanakit to play without fear

Jennifer Kupcho and Patty Tavatanakit CC
Jennifer Kupcho and Patty Tavatanakit - image credit LPGA/Getty Images

Six shots back of the American in solo second is defending champion Patty Tavatanakit. A comeback win tomorrow would make her only the second player in the major’s history to successfully defend the title, last achieved by Annika Sorenstam (2001, 2002), as well as the eighth player to earn at least two Chevron Championship victories.

“I like chasing. Yeah, for sure. Better feeling. You play without fear and I love doing that.”

Jessica Korda, making her 12th appearance in the major championship, posted a 5-under-par 67 to jump into solo third at nine-under-par, thanks to six birdies and one bogey on the day. The six-time LPGA Tour winner’s best finish in any major is a tie for fourth, which she earned twice in 2018 at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and Chevron Championship. Annie Park sits in fourth at seven-under-par after a one-over 73. Park played in the day’s final grouping with 36-hole leader Hinako Shibuno, who fell to -4 overall after a 5-over 77.

Jessica Korda The Chevron Championship
Jessica Korda - image credit LPGA/Getty Images

Six players are tied for fifth at -6, including major champions Brooke Henderson, Hannah Green, Lexi Thompson and Hyo Joo Kim. England’s Charley Hull is in a tie for 11th at five-under-par. Rolex Rankings No. 1 Jin Young Ko fell to a tie for 52nd at even par after her second 74 of the week on Saturday.

View The Chevron Championship full live leaderboard here.