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Ariya powers to the top at Sentosa

Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn showed why she is the world’s top player with a flawless third round 66 to take the lead in the HSBC Women’s World Championship.

Jutanugarn made three birdies on each nine  at Sentosa Golf Club’s New Tanjong Course to lie on 11-under-par after 54 holes, one shot ahead of Australia’s Minjee Lee who carded a 67.

“I’m getting a lot better because my first two rounds, I felt like I can’t really do [anything]. But today makes me feel …. finally I made some putts,” said Jutangarn.

Amazingly, Jutanugarn does not have an Asian title among her 11 professional wins.

“You know, that is one of my dreams, maybe started like five years ago. I really want to win in Asia because I never have,” she added.

Speaking about her round, Lee said: “I think I made four birdies on the front nine and one bogey, so I turned three-under, which was pretty nice. I made three birdies in a row at some point, and just really got my round going.”

Looking ahead to round four, Lee, who was runner up in Thailand last week and has four LPGA Tour wins to her credit, said: “I think I played with Ariya every single round, so it’s probably going to be four in a row. It’s pretty cool. She’s great to play with. She’s fast and just good all around.”

A shot further back at nine-under par is England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff whose consistency on the New Tanjong course has put her into contention to claim Asia’s top prize. Despite 18 top-10 finishes, Ewart Shadoff is yet to claim a maiden Tour victory.

Tied in fourth place at eight-under par are Koreans Jin Young Ko, who also shot six-under for the round, and Hyo Joo Kim. The pair sit alongside round two leader Amy Olson from the US and Spain’s Azahara Munoz.

Former World No.1s Inbee Park and Lydia Ko are a shot further back in tenth place. In the early stages of her round, Park did look to be making her move for a third title in Singapore, with three birdies on the front nine but was unable to maintain the pace, dropping three shots after the turn to post an even par score for the day.

Three other players to impress on ‘moving day’ were Canadian Brooke Henderson, who shot five under par, China’s Shanshan Feng and Brittany Altomare from the US (both four-under par). The trio are tied in fourteenth place alongside Americans Nelly Korda and Cristie Kerr.

For more information on the HSBC Women’s World Championship 2019, visit www.hsbcgolf.com/womens

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