Michelle Wie, Lexi Thompson share lead in LPGA's first major

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RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson topped the Kraft Nabisco leaderboard, setting up a possible final-round showdown the LPGA Tour has been waiting for.

Wie shot a bogey-free 4-under-par 68 on Saturday to match Thompson at 10-under 206 at Mission Hills in the LPGA’s first major championship of the year.

Thompson settled for 69 after driving into a fairway bunker and missing a 3-foot par putt on the par-5 18th. She also missed two short birdie putts.

• LPGA Tour Commis­sioner Mike Whan weighed in on Golf Digest’s provocative cover featuring Paulina Gretzky, which shows Gretzky in skintight capris and a
bra.

“If a magazine called Golf Digest is interested in showcasing females in the game, yet consistently steers away from the true superstars who’ve made history over the last few years, something is clearly wrong,” Whan said in a statement at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. “ ‘Growing the game’ means a need for more role models and in these exciting times for women’s golf, the
LPGA is overflowing with them.”

Gretzky is former hockey star Wayne Gretzky’s daughter and PGA Tour player Dustin Johnson’s fiancee.

Former LPGA Tour star Lorena Ochoa, in 2008, was the last female pro to appear on the magazine’s cover.

“It’s frustrating for female golfers,” third-ranked Stacy Lewis said. “It’s kind of the state of where we’ve always been. We don’t get respect for being the golfers that we are. Obviously, Golf Digest is trying to sell magazines. But at the same time you’d like to see a little respect for the women’s game.”

Jerry Tarde, Golf Digest’s editor in chief, released a statement about the cover.

“Sports figures, celebrities and models have appeared on Golf Digest covers since the magazine’s beginning,” Tarde said. “Paulina ranks at the high end of the golf celebrity scene today, and she has a compelling story to tell. She also might get some new people interested in the game.”

EUROPEAN TOUR: In Cadiz, Spain, Matthew Nixon shot 7-under-par 65 to take a one-stroke lead after the third round at the NH Collection Open.

Nixon had nine birdies to overcome a pair of bogeys in the best round at La Reserva de Sotogrande Golf Club for an overall 8-under 208.

Marco Crespi (66) is second.

Former Augusta State golfer Scott Jamieson (70) is tied for ninth at 213. Oliver Wilson (75), another former Jaguar, is at 222.

Poor weather and then bad light had forced the opening two rounds to be suspended on Thursday and Friday, and the third round only got under way after 45 golfers finished their second round early Saturday morning.

Nixon says "I had a nice start and it just kept going."


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