• IK Kim sets a new 54 hole championship record and holds a six shot lead going into final round
• Georgia Hall and Moriya Jutanugarn share second spot on 11-under-par
• 2015 champion Inbee Park equals course record with eight-under-par 68
IK Kim fired a bogey-free six-under-par 66 to extend her lead in the Ricoh Women’s British Open to six shots going into tomorrow’s final round at Kingbarns Golf Links.
The Korean finished today’s third round on 17-under-par 199, a new championship record for 54 holes, and is in a commanding position to win her first major title.
Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn and England’s Georgia Hall share second place on 11-under-par with Inbee Park, who matched the course record set by Michelle Wie with an eight-under-par 64, and the United States’ Ally McDonald one shot further back on 10-under-par.
Ireland’s Leona Maguire is the leading amateur on six-under-par and is in a strong position to win the Smyth Salver for a second consecutive year.
IK Kim extends lead
Kim was in dominant form on the front nine after picking up a shot on the 2nd and notching up a hat-trick of birdies spanning the 5th, 6th and 7th holes.
The six-time LGPA TOUR winner collected two further birdies on the 11th and 12th and was agonisingly close to holing a birdie putt on the 18th only for her ball to roll just past the cup.
“I feel good that I'm playing so well. I’m taking it one shot at a time and I really don't think about the score. I just try to give my best and it's really rewarding to have a good result in the end. Tomorrow, I will try to focus on what I can control and enjoy and have some fun too.”
Dropped shots cost Hall
Hall had to settle for two-under-par 70 after experiencing a disappointing end to her round which saw the 21-year-old post a bogey and double bogey in consecutive holes to drop three vital shots and lose ground on Kim.
An eagle and two birdies were tempered by two bogeys on front nine, but Hall looked to have put herself within touching distance of the lead after rolling in consecutive birdie putts on the 13th, 14th and 15th.
The good work was undone on the 16th and 17th however, with a par on the 18th confirming that Hall would complete the round in a tie for second place.
“I played a lot of good golf and I hit the ball really well”, said Hall. “I made a silly mistake on the 17th but apart from that hole, I played solid. I’m disappointed about my finish to the round but that's golf. You never know, something might happen tomorrow. I hope to get off to a good start.”
Jutanugarn makes a move
A five-under-par 67 from Moriya Jutanugarn, sister of defending champion Ariya, moved the Thai up the leaderboard into joint second place.
The 23-year-old carded seven birdies during an excellent third round display.
“I played well and I'm pretty happy with what I'm doing on the course”, said Jutanugarn. “There's a lot of good players out here and I'll just try to do my best tomorrow and play my game.”
Park equals course record
Park, who lifted the Women’s British Open title at Turnberry two years ago, took advantage of favourable weather conditions earlier in the day to card an eight-under-par 64 and match the course record set by Michelle Wie during Thursday’s first round.
The World No.10 made a welcome return to form and entertained the galleries with eight birdies during a superb bogey-free display to leap up the leaderboard into joint fourth place with McDonald, who posted a two-under-par 70, on 10-under-par for the championship.
“I’m really happy with my round today”, said Park. “It was perfect conditions for scoring this morning, not much wind and it was pretty warm. I putted and hit the ball great, which is something I have been struggling with for the last month, but yesterday and today were great ball-striking days.”
Maguire leads chase for Smyth Salver
2017 Ladies’ British Open Amateur champion Leona Maguire is in pole position to win the Smyth Salver as the low amateur for the second year running after a two-under-par 70 gave the Irishwoman a three shot lead over nearest contender Sophie Lamb. Maguire is on six-under-par for the championship.