Follow along at LadiesEuropeanTour.com >>
The World’s No.1 and 2, Inbee Park and Suzann Pettersen, will go head to head in a final round battle for the World Ladies Championship on Sunday after they tied for the third round lead at Mission Hills in Haikou, China.
Park fired a course record 11-under-par 62 in warm and breezy conditions on the signature Blackstone Course to join rival Pettersen at the top of the leader board on an 18-under-par total.
Park birdied three of the first six holes but really started firing in the middle of her round with six birdies in a row from the ninth. She picked up two more shots on 16 and the last for the best round of her career.
Park’s score in relation to par ties the all-time record low round for 18 holes on the Ladies European Tour, set by six other players. Her back nine score, of seven-under-par, also tied the LET record for nine holes.
It could have been even lower as she missed a short putt for eagle on hole 12 and two-putted from 20 feet for birdie on the long 18th.
“It’s my career best round today so obviously it was a fantastic round. The last couple of days the putting has been really hard. These greens are a little bit grainy and much slower. We played on very fast greens the last two weeks and I just came here and I wasn’t used to the greens. I had a lot of putts the last few days but today everything seemed like it was going the right way and I made a lot of putts. That gives me 11-under,” said Park.
“My ball striking is pretty much really similar for three days but just the putting. Everything I looked at today seemed like it was going in.”
Norway’s Pettersen, leader after each of the first two rounds, opened with a bogey but hit back with eight birdies, including one at the 18th, to end the day level with Park.
Pettersen said: “Today wasn’t an easy ride but with all the holes coming up you just have to be patient. I hit a great putt on 11, missed a putt and then parred No.12 after just having a 7-iron left. If you have a par there you drop two or three shots to the field. I’m in a good position for tomorrow and it’s going to be a nice battle again.
“I have my number in mind and I’m going to do everything in my power to get to that number. I’m not going to tell you what it is but I’m pretty sure it will be enough.”
Ye Na Chung was four strokes behind the leaders on 14-under-par after a third round of 68. An eagle on the par-4 16th was the day’s highlight for the KLPGA Tour player.
She said: “I was just lucky. When I hit it, the grass was really long so I just focused on not being long. When I hit it I think it was too long, but it was okay.
“I was very nervous but excited to play with Suzann but the main enemy of today’s round was not the other players. My only concern was my score.”
Thai sensation Ariya Jutanugarn lies in fourth place on 13-under-par, with So Yeon Ryu in solo fifth one stroke further behind.
The Korean team of Park and Ryu now leads the team competition running concurrently by 16 strokes over the USA, with a three-round aggregate of 408.
From the original 18 teams, there are now seven left in the competition, shooting for a prize pool of US$100,000.
Minjee Lee is the leading amateur in a share of sixth place with two other players on 11-under, six shots ahead of China’s Jing Yan.
World No.7 Shanshan Feng is the leading Chinese player in 18th place on six-under, only one stroke clear of Lin Xi Yu and Yan, the leading amateur at the event when Feng won in 2012.
Topics: On Other Tours