Natthakritta holds 4-stroke lead over Atthaya after both go 8 under in 3rd round of Honda LPGA occasion
CHON BURI: Novice Natthakritta Vongtaveelap birdied her last 3 holes on Saturday to open a four-shot lead over compatriot Atthaya Thitikul heading into the last round of the Honda LPGA Thailand competition in Pattaya.
Both young Thai stars went 8 under par as the world’s finest golf players staged another birdie-fest at the Old Course at Siam Nation Club. When the dust settled, Natthakritta was 20 under par for 3 rounds and Atthaya was 16 under.
8 under par wasn’t even the very best round of the day. Paula Reto of South Africa went 9 under however that just brought her back to 6 under for the competition.
World No. 4 Atthaya, who won two times on the LPGA Trip in 2015, is alone in 2nd location, one shot ahead of Celine Boutier of France.
Sitting at 14 under are 2014 champion Anna Nordqvist of Sweden, first-round co-leader Maja Stark of Sweden and Lilia Vu of the United States. Hiding another shot back is world No. 1 Lydia Ko, together with No. 2 Nelly Korda of the United States, Ashleigh Buhai of South Africa and Kim Hyo-joo of South Korea.
Using a sponsor’s exemption after winning a nationwide qualifier, Natthakritta understands how it feels to win in Thailand, however Sunday will be the most significant test up until now for the 20-year-old presently ranked 470th worldwide.
Natthakritta is a two-time winner of the Singha Thailand Amateur Open (2021, 2022) and won the 2021 Singha Thailand Ladies Amateur Open.
On the cusp of what might be her very first significant expert success in her first-ever LPGA competition, Natthakritta informed press reporters she had actually dreamed about winning a title because youth and hoped the passionate regional crowd would assist press her over the line.
” Today was huge, however I (believe) tomorrow will be larger,” she stated. (It will be) great to have fun with a buddy. I have not had fun with (Atthaya) for a long period of time.”
Atthaya enjoyed with her 64 and all set to offer it her all in the last round.
” I have more self-confidence today,” the Ratchaburi local stated, including that she felt in the zone on the course and was not overthinking her video game. “I believe my psychological (video game) today is respectable. Likewise, I have actually been carrying out truly well with ball-striking and when I struck it strong like today, it provides me an opportunity to make birdie.”
Ko, who has actually remained in red-hot type, is 7 shots off the lead and stated that remaining client would be the secret on the last day.
” It was certainly a bit challenging today with the wind being a bit breezier,” she stated. “I’m simply going to stay with my own strategy (on Sunday).”
It was a topsy-turvy day for Korda, with an eagle and 6 birdies however 5 bogies cluttering her rating sheet.
” The bad was extremely bad today and after that the great was respectable, so I had a good combination of both,” the 24-year-old stated.
Amongst the other Thai rivals, veteran Pornanong Phatlum is at 11 under par, first-round co-leader Jaravee Boonchant is at 8 under, Moriya Jutanugarn is at 6 under and 2021 champ Ariya Jutanugarn is at 4 under.
Wichanee Meechai and Pajaree Anannarukarn ended the day at 1 under, while Chanettee Wannasaen and Arpichaya Yubol completed at even par and Patty Tavatanakit was 1 over.