Women's PGA Championship 2017: Chella Choi, Danielle Kang Tied for Lead

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2017

OLYMPIA FIELDS, IL - JULY 01: Danielle Kang watches her drive on the third hole during the third round of the 2017 KPMG PGA Championship at Olympia Fields Country Club on July 1, 2017 in Olympia Fields, Illinois.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Chella Choi and Danielle Kang are tied for the lead at 10-under par after the third round of the 2017 Women's PGA Championship at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Illinois.

Choi and Kang hold a two-shot advantage over their closest competition, Jiyai Shin (-8), with 18 holes to play in the 63rd edition of the major event. Brooke Henderson (-7) sits in solo fourth, while Amy Yang and Sei Young Kim (-6) round out the top five.

Lexi Thompson and Michelle Wie headline a large group of players on the fringe of championship contention at five-under par.

Choi played a patient third round that kept her out of danger en route to a bogey-free 67. She took advantage of two of the course's three par fives and otherwise did well to keep herself out of danger, which should bode well in the final round.

Kang took a different route to the top of the leaderboard with five birdies and two bogeys. She entered the week with 30 major starts, including seven in the Women's PGA Championship, and no top-10 finishes. So her performance this week in Illinois qualifies as a significant surprise.

The Golf Channel highlighted her birdie on the final hole, which earned her a share of the lead:

Shin made more noise than anybody on Saturday, though. The two-time Women's British Open champion is playing in her first event in the United States since 2014 after leaving the LPGA Tour for its Japanese counterpart, but she's made a smooth transition back to American soil.

While the 29-year-old South Korean star has three top-five finishes in the Women's PGA Championship on her resume, a win has remained elusive. Now, in her first start in the event since 2013, she pushed her way into contention with a flawless seven-under 64 on moving day.

Randall Mell of Golf Channel passed along post-round comments from Shin, who remains happy with her decision to leave the LPGA to stay closer to her family.

"It's a lot of fun in the LPGA, and sometimes I miss the crowds and the fun," she said. "But I'm not totally out of the LPGA. I'm still part of it, but I have new fans in Japan, and I have my family."

Henderson also kept herself firmly in the mix heading into the final round with her third consecutive sub-70 round. It was an up-and-down performance for the reigning champion, however, with five birdies and three bogeys, including one on the 17th that followed three birdies in a four-hole stretch.

The 19-year-old Canadian sensation may need to replicate her fourth-round 65 from last year at Sahalee Country Club in Washington in order to secure back-to-back PGA titles. But that score is within reach if she can clean up a few of the mistakes she made Saturday.

Afterward, she talked about her effort on Canada Day:

All told, the stage is set for a memorable finish in the season's second major. There are 14 other golfers within five shots of the lead pace set by Choi and Kang. Add in favorable course conditions and it should be a battle down to the final holes Sunday afternoon.

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