Minjee Lee - 2022 LPGA Founders Cup
Minjee Lee leads the field after the third round of the LPGA Cognizant Founders Cup. (Photo by Christopher Shannon -JSN)

First place fight continues into third day of Founders Cup

Round three of the LPGA Cognizant Founders Cup closed out with Minjee Lee holding down her first place spot at the end of the day. Misty and cloudy skies persisted throughout the day as players teed off.

Minjee Lee maintained the lead with a Saturday 69 at the Cognizant Founders Cup to sit alone at the top of the leaderboard at -17, heading into the final day at Upper Montclair Country Club. Her series of a bogey-eagle-birdie from holes 11-13 allowed her to keep a one-stroke advantage above Madele.

Sagstrom, who was tied with Lexi Thompson and Ally Ewing, was able to come out and solidify her second-place position with a -16, two ahead of Thompson, who recorded a -14 as they prepared for the final day of competition. Sagstrom opened the day with three birdies in her first four holes, notching two more on the 12th and 14th holes to remain in contention. Thompson had an incredible day posting her third-straight round in the 60s with a 3-under 69 and is currently third at -14. She hit nearly every green in regulation with 11 of 14 fairways and recorded four birdies on her day.

"Coming into the week I knew I was hitting it well. Worked extremely hard in the week off so I put in the work coming out here believing in myself and committing to my golf shots, really just staying in the moment," said Thompson, who joins Lee as the only remaining players with three-straight rounds in the 60s this week in Clifton. "That's what I've done all week and I'll come out and do the same tomorrow and see where that takes me."

American Angel Yin sits in solo fourth after a 4-under 68 moved her to -11 overall. Megan Khang and Ally Ewing, two players who sat in the third-place spot over the last few rounds, dropped to a three-way tie for fifth alongside Paula Reto. Jin Young Ko, who came in defending a back-to-back title, sits tied for 25th with one more round left in her title defense.

"I'm just really happy. Really looking forward to playing more golf, just playing another round, playing on the weekend," said Yin. "It's like Wilshire and PV, just this stretch of golf courses really tests you. You can't challenge it. You just have to go with it. This course is tight. This course is hard. There are a lot of opportunities to make a lot of mistakes. It's out there to bite you when you fall down. If the birdies come, they come. If they don't, they don't. Like today, hit it close, missed some putts, but you just have to keep hitting the shots and giving yourself opportunities."

LPGA Founders Cup - Junior Golf Day Activities

Junior Golf Day activities during the third day of the LPGA Cognizant Founders Cup. (Photo by Christopher Shannon - JSN)

Looking Ahead To The Final Round

Going into the Cognizant Founders Cup final round, anything can happen in such a close race to first. With such a close race, Minjee Lee needs to keep the momentum from the last few days to hold onto the first place position. If she were to win, she would earn her first victory since the 2021 Amundi Evian Championship and her first of the 2022 season. It would also mark her seventh title on the LPGA tour.

For Madelene Sagstrom, no matter what happens, she will notch her third consecutive top-10 finish of the 2022 season and could potentially win her second-ever LPGA title.

If Lexi Thompson or Angel Yin were to win, they would join the list of Americans to win this tour season so far, joining North Jersey native Marina Alex who most recently won at Palos Verdes Championship. A possible win would also mark Thompson's first victory since the 2019 ShopRite LPGA Classic and the 12th of her career or Yin's second win ever on tour.

With the way the competition has been the last few days, anything can shake up to happen in the tournament's final round.

Where To Watch Cognizant Founders Cup

The final round of the Cognizant Founders Cup kicks off early Sunday. Coverage can be seen aired on the Golf Channel from 12-1 p.m and then directly after on CBS from 1-3 p.m. It can also be found on the NBC Sports App and Paramount+.

You can follow the Cognizant Founders Cup even more on social media Tournament: @LPGAfounders (Twitter, Instagram)  

LPGA Tour: @LPGA and @LPGAMedia (Twitter), @lpga_tour (Instagram).

TV TIMES (all times Eastern)

Sunday, May 15 – 12-1 p.m. (Golf Channel), 1-3 p.m. (CBS)

STREAMING TIMES (all times Eastern)

Sunday, May 15 – 12-1 p.m. (golfchannel.com/NBC Sports App); 1-3 p.m. (Paramount+)