So Yeon Ryu had a very good reason to end her 3rd round at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open this afternoon with a big, broad smile. A pair of birdies on 16 and 17 pushed her to a 3rd round record-setting 20-under par. Ryu has now delivered three stunning rounds at the London Hunt and Country Club and will go into Sunday’s final round with a four stroke lead over her closest competitor, Azahara Munoz. Munoz was also smiling Saturday afternoon. After starting the 3rd round trailing Ryu by seven strokes she tied Ryu’s record-setting first round 63 and drew within four shots of the top of the board. She’ll start the final round sharing 2nd place with Na Yeon Choi. And Inbee Park, who can never be discounted as a threat, also closed the gap, pulling to within six shots of Ryu’s lead. Sunday could bring a tight battle through the back nine!
The Saga of the Borrowed Putter
Come Sunday afternoon Ryu could well be regretting loaning her good friend Inbee Park her putter when they played at the International Crown in July.
Park, who’d been struggling with her putting, liked Ryu’s TaylorMade so much she ordered up an exact replica and put it right to work, recording a runner-up at the Meijer LPGA Classic and then a victory at the Wegman’s LPGA Championship.
Park’s played 54 holes with 80 putts using her Ryu replica. Ryu, using the original, has needed 82 putts.
Recapturing the Magic
Azahara Munoz, Beatriz Recari, Carlota Ciganda and Belen Mozo played together like a finely-tuned symphony orchestra to capture the International Crown in July, yet none of them has been able to play a game that will take them to the top of the leaderboard in individual stroke play. They’ve talked about that mysterious and frustrating inability to translate team energy to individual play.
Finally, it looks as though 16th ranked Munoz has found the key. She played well on Thursday and Friday, carding 66 and 71; and she played brilliantly on Saturday, delivering a bogey-free nine-under par round that’s put her within easy reach of the lead and her first individual Tour win.
The Rankings Battle
Stacy Lewis and defending champion Lydia Ko are well down on the leaderboard and not likely to figure in the Sunday battle. Lewis, at six-under, had a miserable Saturday round. The woman with the laser-like flat stick needed 34 putts to get around the London Hunt and Country Club track on Saturday. Ko, at five-under, needed an amazing 35 putts.
Lewis and Ko are probably both sleeping on the possibility that Inbee Park could take back the number 1 spot in the world rankings tomorrow afternoon.
The Canadian Amateur
Sixteen-year old Brooke Henderson is playing her game and a fine game it is. She’s going into the final round at four-under par and although she had a bit of trouble hitting the fairways on Saturday, she’s otherwise delivering a first rate game of golf, staying a stroke ahead of Lexi Thompson and three strokes in front of Charley Hull.
Veronica Felibert, Katie Burnett and Catriona Matthew lead off the Sunday round at the Canadian Women’s Open at 7:05am local time. The final group, So Yeon Ryu, Azahara Munoz and Na Yeon Choi, tees off at 11:45am. Golf Channel and TSN begin simultaneous coverage of the round in progress at 2pm. All times ET.