This was the moment the rest of the field needed: In Gee Chun standing near the trees, contemplating her situation and then eventually heading back to the point of her previous shot.
A shaky third round cut her lead at the Women’s PGA Championship in half.
Chun shot a 3-over-par 75 on Saturday, leaving her three strokes ahead going into the final round at Congressional Country Club. On a day the leaders had plenty of trouble, Chun was holding her own until she made a double bogey on the par-5 16th hole.
“Looking forward to an exciting final round already,” she said. “If it’s going to be too easy, then I feel it is boring.”
It looked like the final round might be boring — or at least anticlimactic — as Chun maintained a comfortable lead through much of Saturday. She bogeyed Nos. 1 and 11 but birdied 2 and 12. Her lead was at five when she had to play her third shot from some tall grass on the 564-yard 16th.
That shot put her in even more trouble, in an area with tall grass and some trees. She took an unplayable lie and went back to the previous spot to re-hit.
An 8-iron from there went over the green, but Chun did manage to get up and down for a 7. The two-time major champion from South Korea led by five shots after the first round and six at the halfway point. After the third round, she had an 8-under 208 total.
Lydia Ko (76) and Jennifer Kupcho (74) — Chun’s playing partners — had their own problems, but Lexi Thompson and Hye-Jin Choi both shot 70 and were tied for second with Sei Young Kim (71) at 5 under.
Thompson will play in the final group as she tries for her first major victory since 2014.
“You always want to be in the final group in any tournament,” she said. “I love that the hard work has been able to pay off for me. I’ve been putting in the time, so to see it pay off and pay dividends means the world to me.”
US Senior Open — Padraig Harrington finally knows what it’s like to overpower a golf course, and it has the Irishman on the verge of a US Senior Open title.
Harrington reached both par 5s in two, hitting 5-wood to 7 feet on the 608-yard 12th hole at Saucon Valley in Bethlehem, Pa., and his 5-under 66 enabled him to open a five-shot lead going into the final round of the Senior Open.
Starting the third round with a one-shot lead over Steve Stricker, his Ryder Cup captain foe from Whistling Straits, Harrington birdied the opening two holes and was on his way.
He was at 12-under 201, five shots clear of former US Senior Open champion Gene Sauers, who birdied the last two holes for a 68; and PGA Tour Champions rookie Rob Labritz (69).
“When you’ve got a lead like this — in not even a perfect world, but in dreamland — you think you’re going to go out there and play well and run away with it, which is a possibility,” Harrington said. “I could play good tomorrow and have a nice comfortable day. I could play average tomorrow, and someone will have to come at me. Or I could play badly tomorrow, and I’ll still have a chance.
“I’ve basically given myself a lot of hands to win this.”
European — Li Haotong had eagle on the same hole for the third day running as he opened up a three-shot lead of the BMW International Open in Munich ahead of the final round.
Starting the day ahead by one stroke, Li was 5 under for the day and 20 under for the tournament. He was nearly further ahead but for a bogey on the 18th.
“It’s actually a lot [more] comfortable than I thought. Quite surprised,” Li said. “It’s just another perfect day for me.”
Li completed the par-five sixth at Golfclub München Eichenried in three shots on Thursday and Friday, but Saturday was the pick of the bunch as he hit a 21-yard chip into the hole. “Somehow it managed to go in,” he said.
Li has two wins on the European tour at the 2016 China Open and the 2018 Dubai Desert Classic. The latter win, when he beat Rory McIlroy by one stroke, made him the first Chinese player to be ranked in the men’s top 50.
Thomas Pieters moved into second with a 6-under 66 including an eagle and three birdies on the back nine. “I just look forward to a really lovely day tomorrow and hopefully a lot of birdies,” he said.
Women’s British Amateur — Jess Baker of England had to make a 25-foot birdie just to reach match play in the Women’s British Amateur and then completed her amazing week with a 4-and-3 victory in the championship match at Hunstanton.
Baker won four straight holes to build a 3-up lead over Louise Rydqvist of Sweden after the morning 18 holes, and then extended her lead to 5 up through the 10th hole in the afternoon. She closed out the win on the 15th hole.