Ariya Jutanugarn continues to cruise at the CP Women’s Open after shooting a third-round 5-under 67 to take a two-shot lead into Sunday’s final round at Priddis Greens Golf and Country Club.

Jutanugarn, who sits at 17-under, counted seven birdies through her first 15 holes then cooled with bogeys on 16 and 18 – only her second and third bogeys through 54 holes of dominant golf. The Thai golfer and World No. 2 has been the most dominant player on the LPGA Tour this season, having already collected her first four career victories in 2016 with a chance to capture a fifth on Sunday.

Despite bogeying two of her final three holes, Jutanugarn is confident heading into Sunday’s final round.

“Feeling good. I mean, I had two bogey the last three holes, but I still shot 5-under, so it’s still good,” said Jutanugarn.

Jutanugarn holds a two shot lead over In Gee Chun (-15) while Sei Young Kim and Stephanie Meadow are tied for third at 12-under. The big hitter from Bangkok is right where she wants to be heading into Sunday and is not concerned with the pack trying to chase her down.  

“I keep the eye on me,” said Jutanugarn. “I’m not really care like who the leader is, like what I say yesterday. I really want to play my game and be happy on the course.”

Jutanugarn holds a special connection to Canada and especially the province of Alberta, having won the 2012 Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship held at the Lethbridge Country Club. If she can emerge victorious on Sunday, she would join Canadian golf legend Jocelyn Bourrassa as the only golfers to win both the Canadian Women’s Open and Canadian Women’s Amateur titles.

Hamilton native Alena Sharp carded a stellar third-round 5-under 67 to climb into contention with a share of fifth at 11-under alongside Anna Nordqvist, Ha Na Jang, Amy Yang and Chella Choi.  Despite carding her best round of the week thus far, Sharp sees room for improvement in her play.

“I was not hitting it well the first nine holes, but I hung in there, and I think that's something that's gotten better with my game is when it's not good, I realize, okay, just keep grinding away, it's going to change, and the last six holes were great.”

Sharp also beamed at the support of the Canadians crowds. “I’m not from Alberta, but I feel like it. It’s nice to have the hometown crowd behind you. Even though it’s not my hometown, I love playing in Canada, obviously, and everybody is always cheering for me, so I really enjoyed it.”

The CP Women’s Open is the second leg of a very unique stretch for Sharp. After representing Canada at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro last week, she is now playing the first of two consecutive tournaments in her home country.

“It just keeps that Olympic pride going and I think if we were to come back from Rio and play in the U.S., it wouldn’t be feeling the same for me or for Brooke. Next week, I’m going to my own backyard, so I’m really going to enjoy that and get to see my parents and my family and friends.”

World No. 3 Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., matched her best round of the tournament on Saturday with a 4-under 68 to climb into a share of 21st at 8-under alongside fellow Canadian Maude-Aimée Leblanc of Sherbrooke, Que.  

Calgary native Jaclyn Lee, a member of Canada’s National Amateur Team, continues to show well for the home crowd, carding a third-round 1-over 73 for a share of 47th position at 4-under, while Anne-Catherine Tanguay of Québec City rounds out the Canadian scoring with a share of 70th at 1-over.

Defending champion and three-time winner Lydia Ko fell back Saturday into a six-way tie for 10th at 10-under.   

 

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Image Source: Todd Korol/Getty Images North America

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