MOURFIELD, Scotland (AP) — Ashley Buhey surged to a five-shot lead at the Women’s British Open after a 7-under 64 in the third round Saturday.
Now she just needs to find a way to pull off her first major victory.
The South African also led the event at Woburn after the second round in 2019, but finished fifth, her best finish in a major.
Buhai was in a much stronger position at Muirfield, having included eight birdies in the previous round but made a bogey on the final hole for a 14-under 199.
Five of those birdies came from the first seven holes, but perhaps the most impressive came on the par-5 17th, when she cut from the green after hitting her tee into the rough.
Although the winds were stronger than the previous two days, this was the best round of the week.
“To be able to make a score like that in that situation, you have to be able to pat yourself on the back so that I think I’m a 6-under, not a 7,” Buhai said. “So, I played the last round at 8 under and I think I have to look back and it was probably one of the best rounds of golf I’ve ever played.”
Japan’s Shibuno Hinako (66) and South Korea’s second-round leader In Jichun (70) tied for second. Seven-time Grand Slam champion Inbee Park and Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom were two shots behind.
Buhai has three victories on the European Tour but has never won an LPGA Tour title. But she also never had a five-shot lead going into the final round.
She’s doing her best not to look too far, though.
“I’m most proud of the way I stayed focused and calm (today). That’s everything I was trying to control. I didn’t expect the outcome,” Buhai said. “The first time I saw the leaderboard, I think it was when I was 12, no, 13. Then I just said to myself, ‘Okay, it’s alright, you’re in a good position. Take a second look at yourself now and focus on what you want to do.'”
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