MUIRFIELD, Scotland ( Associated Press) – Ashley Buhai took a five-shot lead at the Women’s British Open on Saturday after shooting 7-under 64 in the third round.
Now all he has to do is find his way to the end for his first big win.
South Africa led the tournament in 2019 after the second round at Woburn, but finished fifth, their best result in a major.
Buhai is in a strong position at Muirfield after a round that included eight birdies before a lone bogey on the last hole, giving him a 14-under total of 199.
Five of those birdies came on the first seven holes, but perhaps the most impressive was on the 17th par-5, when he hit a four off the green after hitting his tee shot into the rough.
It was the best part of the week despite the wind blowing stronger than the first two days.
“To be able to shoot that score in those conditions, you have to be able to give yourself a pat on the back, so much so that I thought I was 6 under, not 7,” Buhai said. “So, I was under 8 playing the last, which I think, looking back, is probably one of the best rounds of golf I’ve ever played.”
Japan’s Hinako Shibuno (66) and second-round leader Ji Chun (70) of South Korea were tied for second. Seven-time major winners Inby Park and Sweden’s Madeleine Sagström were two more shots behind.
Buhai has three victories on the European Tour but has never won an LPGA Tour event. But he never took a five-shot lead to advance to the final round.
However, she is doing her best not to look too far ahead.
“The way I just stayed focused and calm (today) is what I am most proud of. That’s all I try to control. I wasn’t thinking about the consequences,” Buhai said. “I only saw a leaderboard the first time I think I was at 12, no, 13. And then I just said to myself, ‘Okay, that’s fine, you’re in a good place. Yourself Check in now and focus on what you’re trying to do.'”
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