Sports

Ariya's lead cut after late stumble

Canadian Women's Open looks a two-horse race between the Thai and South Korea's Chun

Ariya Jutanugarn threatened to run away with the Canadian Women's Open, before stumbling late to end the third round with a two-stroke lead in Alberta yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Seeking her fifth win in a breakout season, the Thai built a five-stroke lead with three holes remaining, only to bogey the 16th and 18th after missing 10-foot putts on both greens at Priddis Greens Golf & Country Club in Calgary.

Those blemishes, along with a birdie at the 17th by Chun In Gee, left world No. 2 Ariya with a tenuous lead over her South Korean rival.

Ariya carded 67 for a 17-under 199 total, with Chun (66) alone in second place on 15 under.

The final round appears likely to be a two-woman race, as Northern Ireland's Stephanie Meadow and South Korean Kim Sei Young are five strokes off the lead in a tie for third.

KO SLIPS

New Zealand's world No. 1 Lydia Ko fired a two-under 70, but slipped seven strokes behind Ariya in her quest to post a fourth victory in the event before reaching the age of 20.

Ariya, 20, had squandered several golden opportunities before breaking through for her maiden LPGA success in May and followed up by winning her next two starts.

She had also won last month's Women's British Open.

With so much recent success, she was not ready to dwell on her late stumble, instead opting to focus on the positive aspects of her round.

"After I won my first tournament, I kind of know how I play under pressure, so I know when I get really excited, what I have to do," she said.

"(I am) feeling good. I mean, I had two bogeys the last three holes but I still shot five under, so it's still good."

Meanwhile, Chun, last year's US Women's Open champion, signalled her intentions for the final round.

"I'm going to just focus on my game against the golf course and see where I am later," she said. - Reuters.

“After I won my first tournament, I kind of know how I play under pressure, so I know when I get really excited, what I have to do.”

— Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn, on having the experience during the critical stage of a tournament

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