Golf: Chun lead shrinks to three after third round at Women's PGA

BETHESDA, UNITED STATES (AFP) – Chun In-gee will take a three-shot lead into the final round of the Women’s PGA Championship after battling to a three-over-par 75 in Saturday’s (June 25) third round.

The South Korean world number 33 who dominated play over the first two days to open up a six-shot lead at the halfway stage, found the going tougher on Saturday at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland.

Although Chun led the field by as many as seven shots early in her round, she saw her advantage gradually shrink as she came down the stretch, with a bogey on the 15th and double-bogey on the 16th leaving her just three shots clear.

Chun recovered from that late wobble with pars on the 17th and 18th holes to leave her on eight under for the tournament with a 54-hole aggregate 208.

Chun’s round could have been worse had it not been for a superb recovery on the par-five 16th.

After a wayward second shot bounced into deep rough beyond the cart path, Chun pulled her third shot into undergrowth on the opposite side of the fairway.

She elected to take a penalty and replay the shot, but her fifth ended up in rough beyond the green.

That left the very real possibility of a triple-bogey eight, but Chun got up-and-down in two to stop the bleeding with a double-bogey.

Chun’s nervy third round has left a clutch of players with grounds for optimism heading into the final round.

Lexi Thompson and Koreans Choi Hye-jin and Kim Sei-young are in a three-way tie for second on five under 211.

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Thompson overcame an early stumble that included two bogeys in her opening four holes to shoot a two-under-par 70.

A bogey-free back nine saw her move up the leaderboard with birdies on the 12th, 14th and 15th holes.