The chase is on to catch So Yeon Ryu

Ryu So-yeon of South Korea watches her approach shot on the seventh tee during the third and final...

Ryu So-yeon of South Korea watches her approach shot on the seventh tee during the third and final round of the women's Evian Championship golf tournament in Evian September 15, 2013. (REUTERS/Denis Balibouse)

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 2:44 PM ET

Azahara Munoz kept leader So Yeon Ryu in shouting distance.

Munoz is really going to have to shout loudly, but Ryu’s still in the neighourhood.

In the process, Munoz beat the grand old London Hunt and Country Club to a pulp.

Munoz scorched the course for a 63 Saturday in the third round of the CP Women’s Open Championship. She tied a course record set by Ryu in the opening round on Thursday.

Munoz was just one golfer taking a run at the leader. At one time in the third round, Na Yeon Choi cut Ryu’s lead to one. Azahara then cut it to two. Late in the third round Inbee Park made her way onto the first page of the leader board.

But every time someone got close, Ryu did what she’s done all tournament . . . made big birdies.

Like a boxer everyone thought was on the ropes ready to crack, she bounced back with a great shot and key putt.

Ryu shot a five-under par 67, Saturday 20-under par. The tournament scoring record is -18.

Ryu leads Munoz and Choi by four shots and Park by six.

“I really tried not to look at the leader board,” Ryu said. “I realize that Azahara shot nine-under and that I’m only leading Azahara by four shots . . . I know if I pay attention to other people’s play I can’t pay attention to my game. I just wanted to bring my A-game today so I didn’t look at the leader board at all.”

The collective group of golfers put together some astonishing numbers on a course that was defenceless.

If the Hunt Club could actually speak, it would be crying for mercy.

Eight players are under par by double figures; 41 shot under par on the round; and 15 played even-par golf.

The players were throwing darts at the flag especially Ryu and Munoz.

A bad shot actually got Munoz going.

“I think the key of my round was on (par-5) No. 4” she said. “I was going for it in two and hit it into the water.

“But I kept calm. I knew I could still make an up-and-down for par and I did. After that everything just went my way.”

Being four down going into the final round as well as Ryu is playing might be discouraging, but these golfers recognize that the Hunt Club can be victimized for a really low score.

“I think this course is two, three, four shots (can be made up). I think it not really matter,” said Choi. “Someone can shoot like nine-under, eight-under. Even I could shoot like nine or eight-under (Sunday.)

“But I promised myself I’m not going to look at the score, a number, anything for (Sunday) . . . I don’t know where I’m going to finish but whatever I finish, I think I’m very happy. My game is most improved.”

Munoz also hinted that the course was ripe for more low scores.

She’s another player that didn’t look at the scoreboard on Saturday, but she couldn’t help but notice the board on Thursday when she drove in for her round. Ryu was already eight-under par. She would go on to post a course-record 63.

“It’s good (when you see that) because you have that number in mind and you know that it’s possible. At least you go out there and know you can make lots of birdies.

“Since I’ve been on the course, I haven’t looked at the leader board. Not until I finish did I know where I stand. Obviously, with a nine-under I knew I was going to be pretty happy. I’m going to focus on myself (Sunday) and see where that takes me.”

It’s going to be strong last group going out. Munoz, Ryu and Choi are all confident and playing well.

“I feel confidence in my game. That is important for me,” Choi said. “Even last season, or a lot of tournaments this year, after the rounds I have a lot of regrets, but even today, even yesterday, I shoot only two under, but I didn’t have many regrets after the round. I’m very happy so I’m looking forward to (Sunday.)”

Then there’s Park who is 14-under and quietly made inroads in her game. She had 17 straight pars Saturday, but got it going on the back Saturday.

“The front nine (Saturday) was really bad. I had only one birdie and probably nine looks at a birdie,” Park said. “But on the back nine my pace and my groove was really good and they seemed to drop.”

 


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