Grind for Buhai in 3rd round of Gainbridge LPGA

Feb 28, 2021 | Featured, South Africans abroad

Ashleigh Buhai carded a battling one-under-par 71 on Sunday in the third round of the Gainbridge LPGA tournament in Orlando, Florida to move to seven-under ahead of the final round.

She lost ground on the lead, however, as she goes into Sunday play in a share of 11th place, six shots off the lead which is held by Nelly Korda, who made her second-consecutive four-under 68. That gave her a one-stroke lead over Thailand’s Patty Tanatavakit, who went six-under in the third round.

It was a grind for Buhai, who made a birdie on the fifth to reach the turn at seven-under for the tournament. But, in contrast with her second round, she hit only 10 of 14 fairways off the tee this time round, so getting on to the greens became more challenging. She hit only 12 of 18 in regulation, and although her putting improved as she took 28 in the third round compared to 30 in the second, she was losing ground on the field.

She made a double-bogey six on the 10th hole, and then dropped another shot on the 12th as she headed for home. Those drops were interspersed with three birdies which kept her in contention – but with three shots given away after the turn, she could have been at 10-under and closer to the sharp end.

In her defence, it was a breezy day, however, and scoring was not easy.

Korda, whose older sister Jessica won the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions last month to start the new LPGA Tour season, dropped only one shot while Tavatanakit closed with four birdies over her last five holes, including the last three.

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