Playing in the day’s final group, at a windy Gullane Golf Club, Ariya Jutanugarn and Amy Yang each gutted out a round of 2-over 73 to grab a share of the 54-hole at the ASI Ladies Scottish Open.
Jutanugarn and Yang entered the day three shot back of overnight leader Tiffany Joh, but on a day when wind gusts reached 35 mph, and scores ballooned – including, and especially, Joh’s, the 73s were good enough to give the duo a one-shot advantage heading into Sunday’s finale in Scotland.
“When the wind started to blow today I said, ‘here is the Scottish Open.’ Here is the real one now,” said Jutanugarn.
“I really just want to have fun and I have so much fun today. I hit everywhere today.”
Jutanugarn signed for a scorecard comprised of 13 pars, four bogeys and one hole-out eagle on the par-5 16th.
“I’m just really lucky,” said the 23-year old Thai when asked about her eagle. “I just didn’t expect to make it. I just wanted to make birdie.”
Yang, meanwhile, celebrated her 29th birthday with a more conventional up and down round of five bogeys against three birdies.
“I totally forgot it was just my birthday,” said Yang. “I just focused how I’m going to play, but you know, a lot of people wished me a happy birthday today.”
Aussie Minjee Lee shot an even-par 71 and was alone in third at 7-under par. The Korean pair of Haeji Kang (71) and Sung Hyun Park (72) were one further back at 6 under.
Spain’s Carlota Ciganda entered the day 11 shots back, but after a 3-under 68, coupled with top of the pack struggles, she now finds herself in solo-sixth at 5-under par, just three back.
Joh, the surprise 18- and 36-hole leader, started the day par-birdie-par to extend her lead to four shots and reach 14-under par, but the 30-year old San Diego native played her final 15 holes to 10-over par, including a six-hole stretch (Nos. 4-9) of five bogeys and a double.
Despite the disappointing score, Joh was T7 at 4-under par, and just four off the pace.
THE TOP LEADERS
1. Ariya Jutanugarn -8
1. Amy Yang -8
3. Minjee Lee -7
4. Sung Hyun Park -6
4. Haeji Kang -6
6. Carlota Ciganda -5
7. Jin Young Ko -4
7. Lee-Anne Pace -4
7. Tiffany Joh -4
“I would say I didn’t like it much but when the wind start to blow today, I said, here is the Scottish Open, here is the real one now. I’m really happy about how is the conditions today because it makes me feel like expectation, like Scottish.”
– Ariya Jutanugarn