On another day of changeable weather conditions, Yani Tseng shot a third successive round of 68 at Royal Birkdale to maintain her lead at the Ricoh Women’s British Open.
At 12-under-par, Tseng will start the final round four shots clear of Australian Katherine Hull, the first round co-leader who moved into second with a six under par 66.
Tseng matched par at each of her first 12 holes before sinking a tremendous birdie putt from the front of the green at the par-four 13th hole, moving to nine-under-par.
Hull birdied her third hole in a row at the 16th to get within two of Tseng then made it five in a row with birdies on the two closing par fives.
Tseng withstood everything that Hull threw at her, recording a second birdie at the par-five 15th hole and then hit her second shot to 20 feet with an eight-iron at the par-five 18th, rolling in the eagle putt for an inward nine of four-under-par 33.
“Before we got to the green, my caddie told me: ‘Let’s see if we can make this.’ And I was like, ‘You don’t think I can make this?’ so I feel pumped up. I really wanted to make that,” Tseng said.
The spectators turned out to watch the World No.5 on a sunny and breezy afternoon in Southport, but the weather worsened as the leaders finished their rounds, so Tseng felt the need to perform.
“There was lots of people coming to watch and they clap on every shot, so I feel like I better show my big smile to them,” Tseng said.
Since her win at the Kraft Nabisco championship in April, Tseng has been struggling by her own lofty standards with just two top ten finishes on the LPGA Tour and she said: “I feel like that win was two years ago.” The 21-year-old hopes to become the world number one and revealed that she was singing ‘old school songs in Taiwanese’ in her head in between shots to relieve the pressure, even though she has already won two Majors on her resumé, as well as the Handa Women’s Australian Open, which she won in March.