If Scotland’s Mhairi McKay is to win her first major championship on Sunday evening, she will have to do it the hard way as she slipped to three shots behind leader Hilary Lunke from the USA after a disappointing third round 75 at a very windy Pumpkin Ridge GC in Oregon.
The 28-year-old Scot led by four shots after two rounds and could have been as many as seven ahead had she not triple bogeyed her 36th hole on Friday afternoon. But with golf being a fickle game, McKay struggled in the wind on Saturday, but she remains very much in contention for the title.
Lunke leads on five under par after a three under 68 and one further back is Angela Stanford, winner of last week’s title in Atlantic City. And also lurking, trying to claim her third US Open title is the world number one Annika Sorenstam who rattled off a best of the day 67 to join McKay and the Koreans Aree Song and Jeong Jang on 2 under and to give the inexperienced leaders something to think about.
“I didn’t feel I played too badly but I got a little tricked out by the wind,” said McKay.
“But I’m going to stay positive and I’m already looking forward to tomorrow. Hopefully, this is my one bad round and at least I’m still in the hunt.”
But Sorenstam, US Open Champion in 1995 and 1996 knows she is set fair for her third US Open crown.
“I think I’m in great shape for tomorrow,” she warned.
“I have got a great feel on the greens this week and starting to roll a few in. Today was the third round of the US Open and I figured it was a good time to shoot a low number.”