SINGAPORE — The No. 1 player in the world is No. 1 after three rounds at the HSBC Women’s World Championship.
Two strokes behind American Amy Olson after two rounds, Ariya Jutanugarn moved to the top of the leaderboard Saturday and a one-stroke lead after a 6-under 66 at Sentosa Golf Club’s Tanjong course.
Jutanugarn had a three-round total of 11-under 205. No. 3 Minjee Lee was in second place after a 67, with Jodi Ewart Shadoff in third after a 68, two behind the top-ranked Thai player.
Olson had an incredibly mixed round of one double-bogey, three bogeys and six birdies for a 71 and was three strokes behind.
Former No. 1 Lydia Ko shot 69 to move to 5-under. Brooke Henderson had a 67 to move well up the leaderboard to 3-under — from 33rd to a tie for 14th. Nelly Korda, who won the Women’s Australian Open two weeks ago, was also at 3-under after a 69.
“I didn’t start off that well, but I was able to birdie the second hole, chip-in and that kind of changed my mood a little bit and momentum,” said Henderson. “I was able to make a lot of birdies and have some fun, so it was nice.
“I guess I just wasn’t used to this course playing so firm and windy. Other years, it seemed to hold pretty well and it was pretty calm out here.”
Lee will play with Jutanugarn in the final group on Sunday, but the stakes are higher in the fourth round.
“I’ve played with her a lot. I think I played with her every single round, so it’s probably going to be four in a row with tomorrow.” Lee said. “She’s fast and just good all around.”
Asked if Jutanugarn had an “aura about her” going into a final round, Lee wasn’t agreeing.
“I’m not really sure what that means, if you have an aura,” Lee said. “I’m just going to say she’s a great person and it’s nice to play with her.”