Little-known duo in the mix

South Korean Ko Jin Young, in thick clothing against the cold in Scotland, walking from the third tee in the third round. The Major debutante has outshone the better-known Ko - Lydia.
South Korean Ko Jin Young, in thick clothing against the cold in Scotland, walking from the third tee in the third round. The Major debutante has outshone the better-known Ko - Lydia.PHOTO: REUTERS

S. Korean Ko and Taiwanese Lu poised for upset after adapting best to the wind and rain

TURNBERRY (Britain) • Ko Jin Young had never been to Scotland and this is her first Women's British Open, but she battled wind and rain to lead the field after the third round of her first Major.

The 20-year-old shot a three-under 69 in horrendous conditions at Turnberry on Saturday for an eight-under 208 total and shared the lead with Chinese Taipei's Teresa Lu, who also carded a 69.

Suzann Pettersen, the halfway leader, had a 72 for third place on seven under, with world No. 1 Park In Bee poised for a final-day attack a further two strokes adrift.

Ko opened with rounds of 68 and 71 and her 69 contained four birdies - her only bogey was at No. 16 - but even she was surprised by her elevated position on the leader board.

"Today was a really good score and I never thought I would be leading such a big tournament," said the four-time winner on the Korean LPGA Tour.

"I only had one practice round, but I have a really good caddie."

The man carrying her bag is Jeff Brighton from nearby Girvan. They met only on Tuesday.

"He's really nice and a very good player," she said. "He tells me that it is always like this in Scotland. The sun, rain, wind - four seasons all in one day.

"I have never played in such terrible weather but it is very different and I'm enjoying it very much."

Lu's only win on the US-based LPGA Tour was in the 2013 Mizuno Classic in Japan but she also adapted well to the alien conditions.

The 27-year-old had five birdies in her 69 and she said her aim for the final day was to stay relaxed and enjoy it.

"Today I focused on playing low shots. It was fun," she remarked.

Six-time Major winner Park is a big threat. The 27-year-old was another who carded a 69 and there is a hint that a great round is waiting to emerge from the gifted South Korean.

"We always expect this sort of weather in Scotland but I am really excited going into the final round," she said.

"Actually today we were quite lucky because the rain didn't last the whole way round."

Pettersen, two ahead overnight, started with a bogey and was out in 38. But the 33-year-old world No.6 birdied the 10th and 11th in a flawless back nine of 34 for a passable 72.

The best round of the day was a 68 from Wales' Amy Boulden for a three under total, while world No. 2 Lydia Ko of New Zealand, joint second at halfway, could only manage a 72 and finished alongside Park on five-under. But she is still a danger.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 03, 2015, with the headline 'Little-known duo in the mix'. Print Edition | Subscribe