Golf: South Korean Cho A Yean shines in the rain at Women's Amateur golf championship

South Korean Cho A Yean overtook overnight leaders Atthaya Thitikul and Jeong Yun Ji, who also had four holes left to play.
South Korean Cho A Yean overtook overnight leaders Atthaya Thitikul and Jeong Yun Ji, who also had four holes left to play.

Two suspensions of play, totalling more than five hours owing to bad weather, did nothing to stop South Korea's Cho A Yean from vaulting into pole position after day three of the Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific golf championship at the Sentosa Golf Club yesterday.

The 17-year-old, 36th in the world amateur ranking, shot three birdies and one bogey through 14 holes at the par-71 New Tanjong Course to improve to seven under when play was stopped at 7.20pm owing to fading light. The 23 golfers who did not complete the round will resume at 7.20am today.

A Yean overtook overnight leaders Atthaya Thitikul and Jeong Yun Ji, who also had four holes left to play. Thailand's Atthaya sat at six under after two birdies and two bogeys, while Korean Yun Ji dropped a shot after mixing three birdies against four bogeys to lie on five under.

The Japanese contingent also made moves, with Yuna Nishimura collecting five birdies and three bogeys through 15 holes to climb to six under, while Yuka Yasuda was blemish-free with three birdies through 15 holes before dropping a shot at the par-five 16th to return to the clubhouse at five under.

"The delay didn't really matter. Seeing my name on top of the leaderboard also doesn't mean too much because we have not finished the round," said A Yean. "I feel a little bit sad because my rhythm and my shots were all good, so I really didn't want to stop."

The winner of the tournament will earn invitations to the Ricoh Women's British Open, the ANA Inspiration and next week's HSBC Women's World Championship, and she added: "If I could win, this would be the biggest achievement in my career. And the fact I could win and play in two Majors... I would feel like I can fly! "

Yuna said: "I felt good today. I'm happy to be just one off the lead, but today was tough as it was a long day, a lot of waiting, but we just have to keep going.

"My flow was interrupted by the delay, with a three-putt at the 16th. But I feel I still have a chance to win if I take my birdie chances in the remaining holes."

Callista Chen and Shannon Tan were the only Singaporeans among the 53 to make the cut. Callista fired a 74 for a three-round total of 218 to provisionally be tied for 21st. Shannon, at 13 the youngest in the field, is 12 over with two holes to go.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 24, 2018, with the headline 'A Yean shines in rain-delayed round'. Print Edition | Subscribe