Leona Maguire shot five birdies in a three-under 69 to move closer to the top 10 before heading into the finals of the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore.
The Co Cavan (27) star made three birdies and two bogeys in her first six holes but then stabilized the ship to shoot on the 13th and 16th at the Tanjong Course at Sentosa Golf Club.
She climbed 11 places to tie for 15th with five-unders, and although she’s seven shots behind leader In Gee Chun of Korea, she’s only one shot from the top 10.
It’s been more than three years since Chun clinched an LPGA Tour title, but with a bogey-free 66 in today’s third round, she’s a shot ahead of compatriots Jeongeun Lee and Jin Young Ko.
“I was trying to focus well on the putting green because I have a spasm in my neck, so I wasn’t trying to hit hard,” said Chun, who pinched a muscle in her neck on Thursday’s first round and considered retiring.
“I think it went really well on the putting green and then I was able to put the greens really well. So I got a good result today.”
Chun is a three-time LPGA Tour winner, most recently winning a trophy at the 2018 LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship in her home country. Her first two career wins were major titles at the 2015 US Women’s Open and the 2016 Amundi Evian Championship.
For the first time, Ko admitted that she was feeling a little stressed over reaching her record.
“It was a tough round because I had a lot of birdie opportunities in the front nine, but I missed a lot of putts and then some chips,” she said. “I’m balanced on the front nine and I really tried to get three more birdies on the back nine but it didn’t really help. And I had a bit of pressure for the record, but I did it.”
Lee hit a best of the day, seven under 65, including a chip-in eagle on the 13th and six birdies in her first seven holes.
“I’m very happy with my results,” Lee said. “My swing is getting better these days. So I played comfortably.”
The winner will pocket a check for $255,000 (€232,926) on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Waterford’s Kevin Phelan scored a 3-over-75 in the third round of the Asian Tour’s International Series Thailand at Black Mountain Golf Club.
He ranks 66th by three shots behind Thailand’s Phachara Khongwatmai, who shot 63 and had a three-shot 20-shot lead.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/golf/leona-maguire-edges-closer-to-top-ten-after-solid-saturday-in-singapore-41414626.html Leona Maguire moves closer to the top ten after a solid Saturday in Singapore