Amy Boulden during the third round.
Britons Melissa Reid and Amy Boulden gave the home galleries reason to cheer with rounds of 69 and 68 respectively on day three of the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Turnberry.
The pair are now within striking distance of the third round co-leaders, Jin Young Ko from South Korea and Teresa Lu of Chinese Taipei, who sit at eight under par. Overnight leader Suzann Pettersen is one shot off the pace after a level par 72 with Mika Miyazato of Japan in fourth on six under.
Reid is four shots from the lead in a share of eighth place, while Boulden is tied for 10th on three under par. After starting with a double bogey followed by bogeys at the fourth and sixth, Reid recovered with birdies on the seventh and ninth before coming home in 31. She finished with an eagle on 17 where she hit a perfect 3-wood to 12 feet before making a birdie putt of 18 feet on the last hole.
“I’m not too far off. If I can just sort out the first few holes where I’ve been dropping shots then I’ve certainly got a chance,” said the 27-year-old from Derby, who claimed her fifth Ladies European Tour title in Turkey in May. “I feel like I’m putting really well and my swing feels good so I’m going to go out there tomorrow and give it my best shot.”
Boulden also has a chance after firing five birdies in the worst of the changeable conditions. Last year’s rookie of the year, Boulden hit approach shots to within two feet of the flag on the first and second holes, before getting up and down for another birdie at the long seventh. She then made birdie putts of 10 and 12 feet at the 10th and 11th holes before finishing with seven solid pars.
“It was tough out there and the wind was strong,” said the 21-year-old from Llandudno, who grew up playing links golf at Conwy Golf Club and Maesdu, where her father is the professional.
“Growing up at Conwy, definitely you get used to the wind and links golf. Especially playing as an amateur, we grew up playing links golf. I remember playing in the Helen Holm, I remember playing there at Troon and it was always bad weather, so it’s definitely helping me this week.
“In the British Open, you want it to blow, you want it to be tough conditions. You don’t want the top players going out and shooting seven under, you want to grind it out and that’s an advantage for me.”
Ko meanwhile has never previously played links golf. The 20-year-old, who has won four titles on the Korean LPGA, is making her first visit to Scotland and she picked up a local caddie earlier in the week. She estimated that Jeff Brighton, from Girvan, who advised to ‘enjoy,’ has saved her two shots a round. She didn’t expect to be in this position but has taken inspiration from Inbee Park and first round leader Hyo-Joo Kim who is a good friend.
Her third round of 69 matched that of Lu, another player surprised by her own performance. “I didn’t expect to play this well the first place. I just tried to play my game and hit the low shots,” said Lu, who has won several times in Japan.
The other Ko, world number two Lydia, lies in a share of fifth place and still has the opportunity to usurp Morgan Pressel as the youngest ever player to win a Major.
At five under par and three shots from the lead, she sits alongside Australian Minjee Lee and Park, the world number one from South Korea.