Golf: Chun In Gee threatens record in last major

South Korea's Chun In Gee competes in the Evian Championship on Sept 17, 2016.
South Korea's Chun In Gee competes in the Evian Championship on Sept 17, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

EVIAN, France (AFP) - South Korea's Chun In Gee took firm control of the Evian Championship and set her sights on the record books after a third-round six-under-par 65 on Saturday (Sept 17).

In cool, damp conditions last year's US Women's Open champion showed remarkable composure in the final major of the season to post a 19-under-par total and move four shots ahead of nearest challenger and compatriot - and close school friend - Park Sung-Hyun.

Park shot 67 and was another two shots ahead of China's Feng Shanshan (69), with Soyeon Ryu in fourth.

Nineteen under par is the low 72-hole score for a women's major and Chun also has a great chance of bettering the 20-under-par major record set by Jason Day at last year's PGA Championship and then matched by Henrik Stenson at this summer's Open Championship.

Chun dropped only one shot in her opening 36 holes - she led by two shots at halfway - but she had to shrug off a nasty double-bogey seven at the long ninth in round three. She sliced her second shot into woods, found it, but deemed it unplayable.

The one damaging shot cut her lead from four to two and then she had another shake when Park birdied the 10th to reduce the advantage to just one.

But unruffled, Chun hit back in style with birdie at the 11th and then her hole of the day came at the 15th, where she chipped in from 20 yards for an eagle there. A birdie two from close range at the 16th was another cruel blow for her pursuers.

"The game plan for tomorrow is just to keep doing the same thing," said 22-year-old Chun, who is in her first year on the LPGA Tour.

"I'm not going to think about winning. I just want to keep enjoying what I am doing."

Park has won five times on the Korean LPGA tour this year and has yet to make the move to America. But she hopes history will repeat itself - her last win came from four behind going into the last round.

"I know I need to shoot low tomorrow," said the 22-year-old, who shot 63 in the first round.

"I have known In Gee since we were at elementary school. We are good friends."

New Zealand's Lydia Ko had a day to forget. The defending champion had four-over-par 75 and finished 19 shots behind the leader and just inside the top 40.

The low rounds of the day - seven-under-par 64s - came from South Korea's Kim In-Young and England's Jodi Ewart Shadoff.