England’s Georgia Hall followed her opening 68 with a two-under-par 69 at the Evian Championship on Saturday and is four behind Moriya Jutanugarn going into the final round of the fifth Major.
Hall, who tied for third place in last month’s Ricoh Women’s British Open, shares seventh position at the Evian Resort Golf Club after making two birdies in her last three holes, by draining putts from 15 and 25 feet at the 16th and 17th holes respectively.
The 21-year-old from Dorset started with a birdie on the first and played the front nine in one-under-par, adding a further birdie at the 10th, but dropped shots on the 12th and 15th, before her putter warmed up.
She had another chance on the par-4 18th, after hitting her 7-iron up to within eight feet of the flag, put left her putt just short.
“I couldn’t really get much going on the front nine. I was hitting some good shots, but nothing was really happening for me. Then I made kind of a couple bogeys and I just stayed patient, and then I made some really good putts on 16 and 17, which are really hard holes, so I’m very happy to finish 2-under today,” she said.
The European Solheim Cup player is looking for her first professional title and she added: “I’m going to go out there tomorrow and play my own game, and if I manage to shoot 4 or 5-under, then I think I might have a chance, but I’m in a good position now, and I’m happy with the way I played.”
Jutanugarn, who sits at nine-under-par, is also looking for her first Tour victory, with the prospect of she and Ariya Jutanugarn becoming the first sisters to win golf Majors, after Ariya became the first Thai player to win the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Woburn last year.
The only sisters who have won on the LPGA to date are the former world number one Annika Sorenstam, who won 89 titles, including 10 majors, around the world and Charlotta Sorenstam, who clinched the Standard Register PING in 2000, although there have been plenty of sisters who have both played on both the LPGA and Ladies European Tours.
Moriya recorded her best finish in a Major when she ended tied for 10th at the 2014 Evian Championship and after signing for a 68, she said: “I want to win my first tournament. But I don’t really like have to push — like I don’t want to be really pushy, like it has to be next week, next month. It’s just like I’m trying to put myself in a good position, and when it’s my time, probably it will turn out good.”
Ayako Uehara, who has three wins on the LPGA of Japan, is a stroke back in second position, with Australian Katherine Kirk alone in third on seven-under-par.
The 2015 champion Lydia Ko, the recent Ricoh Women’s British Open champion In-Kyung Kim and overnight leader Sung Hyun Park are tied for fourth place on six-under-par after a day of changeable, but largely dry conditions.
Meanwhile, the LET’s youngest ever winner, Attaya Thitikul, who won the Ladies European Thailand Championship two months ago aged 14, made the cut on the number, at three-over-par. She headed into the final round tied for 64th place in a group alongside LPGA winners such as Brooke Henderson, Lee-Anne Pace and Amy Yang.