Ariya Jutanugarn falters late, has 2-shot lead in Canada

Reigning British Open champion Ariya Jutanugarn continued her breakout year form yesterday by firing a five-under 67 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Canadian Women's Open.

A week after withdrawing from the Rio Olympics because of a left knee injury, the 20-year-old Thai star played 20 holes Friday at Priddis Greens.

South Koreas Sei Young Kim and Northern Irelands Stephanie Meadow were 12 under.

After carding her second straight score of 69, Leblanc is in a tie for 14th spot at 6 under with five other golfers including Hamilton's Alena Sharp.

Top-ranked Lydia Ko, of New Zealand, finished at 70 and is seven shots back in a tie for 10th with Lee Min-Jee (67) of Australia, Gabby Lopez (68), of Mexico, Suzann Pettersen (69), of Norway, Budsabakorn Sukapan (69), of Thailand, and Kim Hyo-Joo (70), of South Korea.

Canadian Brooke Henderson, another crowd favourite, was tied for 21st after a second consecutive 68 following an opening 72.

In just her second year on the LPGA tour, she's already won four times, including a stretch of three tournament victories in a row in May.

"I'm eight under par for the last 34 holes", Sharp said. Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn hits from a sand trap on the first hole during the third round of the LPGA Canadian Open golf tournament in Priddis, Alberta, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016.

"Obviously I would love to win this tournament again, but if you scale it up, I think there is more pressure and expectation because you have won this tournament, three times in my case", Ko said upon completing her round.

Canadian native Brooke Henderson will stick around to play the weekend, and a strong showing on moving day could have her right in the mix in her homeland. Meadow said. "I definitely saved myself on the back nine with my short game".

"I keep the eye on me", she said.

"I'm not from Alberta, but I feel like it".

"I feel pretty good today and I hit my tee shots really well", she told after her round. "Through bad shots and good shots, they're supporting me and give me a little bit of extra energy and positive vibes". Meadow had a 69. I played well last week.

"So it's always great, and hopefully I'll climb up the leaderboard and hopefully get a Top-10".

The 18-year-old Henderson was on a roll during Friday's second round but found two bunkers en route to a double-bogey on the eighth hole, her second-to-last test of the day.

She bogeyed the par-5 18th for a 68 in the completion of the delayed first round, then made eight birdies in her bogey-free second round.

  • Joey Payne