Ariya Jutanugarn has been in the hunt in two LPGA Tour majors this season and now she’s in the lead.
The 20-year-old Jutanugarn, who has won three times this year, posted a bogey-free 6-under-par 66 to take a two-stroke lead over Mirim Lee of South Korea heading to the final round of the RICOH Women’s British Open at Woburn Golf Club in Milton Keynes, England.
“I think I know how to play under pressure,” said Jutanugarn, who finished fourth in the ANA Inspiration and third in the Women’s PGA Championship. “I know like what I have to focus on, and the only thing I have to is like focus on what is under my control.
“There is no pressure. The only thing in want to do is have fun. … I’m comfortable not having a driver in my bag. I’m hitting 2-iron and 3-wood off the tee.”
Jutanugarn, who set a tournament record of 16-under 200 for 54 holes, birdied three of the first five holes in round three, chipped in for birdie from 90 feet on No. 8 and sank a 30-foot birdie putt on the 10th.
Lee, who opened with a 62 and held the lead after each of the first two rounds, bounced back from a bogey on the third hole with four birdies to shoot 69, while Mo Martin of Pasadena and UCLA, the 2014 Women’s British Open champion, was five shots back in third with a 69.
Catriona Matthew of Scotland, the 2009 champion, was six strokes back in fourth after a 71, while Stacy Lewis, the 2013 winner, was another shot behind in fifth following a 70.
Lexi Thompson carded a 69 and was seven shots behind in a tie for sixth with three-time British champ Karrie Webb of Australia, who totaled 70, Ha Na Jang of South Korea, who wound up at 73, and Shanshan Feng of China, who came in at 74.
Amateur Leona Maguire of Ireland, a junior at Duke, was solo 10th after a 68.
Top-ranked Lydia Ko of New Zealand was tied for 27th after a 69.