COQUITLAM, British Columbia — Two-time champion Lydia Ko bogeyed the final hole for a 3-under 69 to fall into a tie with Candie Kung for the third-round lead Saturday in the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open.
After going 46 holes without a bogey, the 18-year-old Ko hit her approach on the par-4 18th near the face of the right-side bunker, blasted out to 10 feet and missed the putt.
“Overall I played really solid today, so I’m happy with the way I’m hitting it and the way I’m putting it,” Ko said. “I think every round, unless I shoot 18-under par, I’m probably going to say, ‘Hey, I knew it could have been better.’ But no, I’m playing solid, and that’s the mindset I’ve got to have and just have fun out there tomorrow.”
Kung, the second-round leader after tying the Vancouver Golf Club record with a 64, had a 71 to match Ko at 12-under 204. Alison Lee was third at 10 under after a 66.
Ko won in 2012 at Vancouver Golf Club at 15 years, 4 months to become the LPGA Tour’s youngest winner and fifth amateur champion. The New Zealander successfully defended her title in 2013 as an amateur in Edmonton, Alberta.
“It’s been a great crowd, lots of Korean fans out here, Canadian, New Zealanders and I’m sure from everywhere,” said Ko, a two-time winner this year. “It’s great to see a lot of people out here and I think they get really excited when we play well, too.”
The 34-year-old Kung, from Taiwan, won the last of her LPGA Tour titles in 2008.
“Feeling pretty good today,” Kung said. “I hit the ball good and it was actually one of the best ball-striking days I had all week. Just missed a couple putts here and there. Those were all wrong reads. But I’m hitting it good, putting it good.”
Kung tied for second last week in Portland, Oregon, eight strokes behind Canadian teen Brooke Henderson.
“It’s 18 holes, one shot at a time, one putt at a time,” Kung said. “We will see what happens at the end of the day.”
The 20-year-old Lee has four top-10 finishes this year.
“I’m just going to play aggressively,” Lee said. “I’ve been in contention a couple of times but it was a learning experience. I just need to be confident and hit good shots, stay positive. Not expect too much and not get ahead of myself.”
France’s Karine Icher (72) was fourth at 9 under, and Spain’s Azahara Munoz (70) was another stroke back. Stacy Lewis (71) and England’s Charley Hull (67) topped the group at 7 under.
Top-ranked Inbee Park, the Women’s British Open winner in her last start, was tied for 11th at 6 under after a 70. The South Korean star has a tour-high four victories this season.
The 17-year-old Henderson was tied for 40th at 1 over after a 72.
Henderson bogeyed the second hole, then hit into the water on No. 3 and made a double bogey.
“It was a really rough start,” Henderson said “I am happy to finish with the birdie on 18. You feel good about the round even though maybe I shouldn’t be.”