Ha Na Jang fired a bogey-free 68 on the Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club to take the outright lead after 54 holes at the HSBC Women’s Champions.
The 23-year old from Korea sits atop the leaderboard at 12-under par and leads Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum (68) by one shot. Jang had a balanced day with two birdies on both the front and back nine and extended her bogey-free streak to 40 holes. Amy Yang and Mirim Lee are tied for third at 10-under par. Eleven players are within five shots of the lead.
Jang has been solid statistically all week and leads the field in driving accuracy (90.5%) and ranks second in greens in regulation (83.3%). She hit all 14 fairways on Saturday and missed just one green.
“Yesterday, sometimes a little miss green but today just like one miss is really fantastic right now,” said Jang. “A couple more shots like yesterday, after the round I practice on the range, so it was really good today. Then the putter is a little bit, missed it, but okay, just one more day, it’s no problem.”
This will mark the fourth time Jang holds at least a share of the 54-hole lead and the second time she will hold the lead outright heading into Sunday’s final round. She won her first LPGA title last month at the Coates Golf Championship when she went into the final 18 holes tied for the lead with world No. 1 Lydia Ko. The last time she held the outright lead was last year when she lost in a playoff to Chella Choi at the Marathon Classic.
She said it’s definitely a position she covets and sees it as a huge reason to have some built-up confidence going into tomorrow.
“But just a little more confidence and then very comfortable in my mind and pride in myself,” said Jang. “I talk to every hole in myself, just keep going, ‘Ha Na, don’t think about it anymore, just keep playing golf.’'
Pornanong Phatlum, who is seeking her first LPGA title, had six birdies and two bogeys in her round of 68. The top-ranked Thai player said her preparation for Sunday’s final round won’t be done on the range or putting green but in her head.
“Maybe tomorrow I have to prepare myself, like my mental, before going out on the course,” said Phatlum. “Have to be ready, like don’t think too much like today.”
Six players are tied for fifth at 8-under and four shots back including No. 4 Stacy Lewis, two-time major champ Suzann Pettersen and 18-year old Canadian Brooke Henderson. Ariya Jutanugarn had the low round of the day – 6-under par 66 – and moved from a tie for 25th into a tie for 5th. Rolex Rankings No. 1 Lydia Ko made the most of moving day and climbed 21 spots up the leaderboard to T20 after a round of 67. Her third round was seven shots better than her 74 on Friday.
“I wouldn’t call it lousy, I just didn’t strike the ball very well the last two days and I hit the ball much better today,” said Ko.
“I got a few putts to go in. They weren’t very long, but I just played much more solid, and you know, when you play a bogey-free round, especially a course like this, it kind of means I was scrambling well, and I was hitting the ball pretty solid.”
England's Charley Hull continued to play consistent golf with after adding a third round 72 to earlier rounds of 73,71. She currently sits T38.
For the full leaderboard visit www.lpga.com
If you'd like to read more about the HSPC Champions, including a visit by Take That click here.