Fan favourite Paula Creamer will go into the final day of the ShopRite Classic on Sunday looking for her first win in three years after shooting a 4-under 67 at Stockton Seaview in New Jersey.
Creamer is in a tie for the lead at nine-under par along with In-Kyung Kim, who also shot a 67.
But the big story of the day was at the top of the world rankings, where Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn replaced Lydia Ko as the world’s No. 1 despite taking the week off.
Jutanugarn displaced Ko, who also skipped this week, after So Yeon Ryu missed the cut.
Ko, who has been ranked No. 1 since October 2015, was guaranteed to lose top spot to either Jutanugarn or Ryu. But it went to Jutanugarn when Ryu failed to finish solo third or better.
Two-time defending champion Anna Nordqvist backed up her opening round 64 with a 71 to finish two strokes behind the leaders at seven-under par along with Jutanugarn’s older sister – Moriya – and South Korea’s Jeong Eun Lee.
“Today was definitely different wind than yesterday,” Creamer said after her round “There were some good pins out there that we had to kind of think about a bit. I played solid. I hit some good putts that didn’t go in and made some good putts that went in.”
Creamer, 30, last won on the LPGA Tour in Singapore in 2014.
“I feel good. I feel prepared,” Creamer said. “I knew there was a time I was going to kind of break through. It just shows these last two days have been good golf. We’ll continue. Whatever happens tomorrow happens, but I feel like my golf game is in a good place.”
Matt Cooper looks back at the Qatar Masters of 1999, then a new desert event that provides a clue about the oldest tournament of them all.