Lydia Ko will be chasing her third major title in 11 months on Sunday.
Trailing by three-strokes on moving day, Ko carded a two-under par 70 to take the outright lead heading into the final round at seven-under par. Ko broke out of a four-way tie at the top by draining a long putt at the 18th hole for her third birdie of the day.
"I think the biggest key around today -- well, the biggest difference was the wind. I know it was breezy from the mornings. I knew that it would play a lot tougher than yesterday, because the majority of my round yesterday was played in calm weather," Ko told the media.
"So people, they say it's moving day on Saturday, but it was really tough out there, because the course is drying out, firming up. And it was tough to get near the pins on some holes."
Saturday night, Ko will sleep on the 54-hole lead for the 11th time in her career. The first and last time she held the lead entering the final round of a major championship was in June at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship where she lost in a playoff to Brooke Henderson. Ko is a two-time major champion, having won the 2015 Evian Championship and 2016 ANA Inspiration, but came from behind to capture both titles, trailing by two and one strokes respectively. Ko has not finished inside the top-10 at the U.S. Women’s Open in her previous four starts, her best finish coming in a share of 12th in 2015.
36-hole leader Sung Hyun Park and Eun Hee Ji trail Ko by one-stroke. Park held the lead throughout much of the day despite a double bogey at the par 5, 9th hole. But she stumbled down the stretch, carding two bogeys in her final five holes to finish the day with a two-over par, 74.
Ji knows what it takes to win a major championship, having captured the 2009 U.S. Women’s Open for one of two victories on the LPGA Tour. She trailed by four-strokes heading into moving day and posted a two-under par, 70 to finish the day just one behind Ko.
Three-time winner in 2016, Ariya Jutanugarn, two-time major champion Stacy Lewis, rookie Gaby Lopez, Kris Tamulis, Cristie Kerr, Danielle Kang, Haru Nomura and Mirim Lee make up a group at two-under par in a share of seventh.
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