Katherine Kirk will head to Sunday the best of the Australians at 1-over and 10 behind the leader Shanshan Feng, Karrie Webb and Minjee Lee one shot further back and T36 with Su Oh’s third round 76 dropping her to T55.
It was an adventurous day for all of the Australians at Trump National Bedminster in New Jersey, each making at least one double bogey with Minjee Lee recording two.
Despite ideal scoring conditions and a soft course there was little in the way of red numbers on day three and the Australian scorecards reflected the trend.
Kirk, Oh and Lee all made two birdies each for their rounds while Webb recorded three as she posted the best of the day three Australian rounds, a 1-over 73.
It was a slow start for Kirk who fell to 3-over for her round with a double bogey at the 10th but she fought back with birdies at the 13th and 15th.
A bogey at the 18th was a disappointing way to finish for the Queenslander but after claiming her third LPGA Tour title last week will head to Sunday knowing her game is capable of producing low numbers.
For Webb, one of only two Australians to capture the US Women’s Open, victory is likely out of the question but she adds to an already impressive record with her 19th cut in 22 starts.
Australia’s most successful LPGA player, Webb won back to back US Women’s Opens in 2000 and 2001 and showed her class with a fighting effort Saturday.
After making birdie at the first she gave back two shots with a double bogey at the fifth and went to the turn 1-over with another birdie and a bogey.
After steadying the ship with four straight pars she made a rare birdie at the par-3 14th but gave the shot back at 17 to finish 1-over.
Australia’s highest world ranked player found the going tough on day three, Minjee Lee slumping to a 77 with two double bogeys and three bogeys.
It’s a second consecutive disappointing major for Lee whose play at the Women’s PGA at Olympia Fields two weeks ago was also less than her best.
Lee’s fellow Olympian, Su Oh, will also be smarting after squandering good starts at each of the last two grand slam events.
Oh was under par through 18 holes at both Olympia Fields and again this week but has been unable to maintain momentum through 72 holes and heads to Sunday 13 shots off the pace.
To her credit Oh was 2-under for her second nine Saturday after enduring a horror run on the front nine which saw her turn 6-over.The 20-year-old embarked on a major swing overhaul with coach Cameron McCormick earlier this year and a low score tomorrow would give her a big confidence boost ahead of the final two majors of 2017.