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Kirk Clinging To Hope At Evian

Katherine Kirk is a long way back but not without hope at the year's final major in France (Photo: Henry Peters)
A brilliant third round 66 has kept Australia’s Katherine Kirk on the edge of contention as little-known American Amy Olson takes a two shot lead into the final round of the final women’s major of the year in France.

Kirk will begin Sunday at The Evian Championship eight shots off the pace and slightly disappointed with the finish to her Saturday round.

Out in a blistering 5-under, the Queenslander could manage no better than even par on the inward journey as she posted one birdie and one bogey to sign for a 66.

Though unlikely, she will not start Sunday’s final round without hope and if she can replicate Saturday’s start will give the leaders something to think about.

Kirk is the best of the Australasians to make the cut, Minjee Lee and former winner Lydia Ko both two shots back and sharing 21st place.

Ko posted her best score of the week with a Saturday 67 while Lee added a 69 to opening scores of 72-68.

At the top of the leaderboard Olson will have her work cut out Sunday if she is to make her maiden LPGA victory a major with several highly credentialed players hot on her heels.

Seven-time Tour winner Sei Young Kim is her closest pursuer at 12-under with a further two shots back to Mo Martin.

Inbee Park shares fourth place at 9-under alongside Georgia Hall and American Angela Stanford, the World Number Four a former winner of the tournament but prior to it being designated major status.

Having already won the other four majors some have questioned if she needs to win the Evian again to claim a career Grand Slam but Park herself is indifferent.

“Many people has been asking me, ‘Maybe you should win again because it became a major,’ ” she said after her second round.

“… Yeah, I still have my name on the trophy, but I think it’ll be just really nice to put it twice on the trophy.”

For leader Olson the stakes are somewhat different, the fourth-year professional yet to win any event on the LPGA and boasting only four top 10 finishes since joining the circuit in 2014.

However, one of those came earlier this year when she played in the final group Sunday at the year’s first major, the ANA Inspiration, and ultimately finished T9.

She drew parallels with that performance after the third round saying she felt her game was in a good place.

“I would say actually I was driving the ball better during ANA, but I'm putting a lot better this week,” she said.

“Otherwise, very comparable. I would say the big thing is it's just been very consistent. I haven't seen a lot of big misses or anything that you have to worry about.

“That was the same at ANA.”

SIGNATURE HOLES - 7TH AT NEWCASTLE GC, NSW:

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