Buhai eyes top-10 finish in Los Angeles

Apr 24, 2021 | Featured, South Africans abroad

Ashleigh Buhai got better again on Friday in her third round of the LPGA Tour’s Hugel-Air Premia LA Open as she signed for a three-under 68 to climb into a share of 11th.

Four birdies and a bogey saw her reach five-under for the tournament, which is being led by Jessica Korda of the United States, who also carded a 68 to go with her opening rounds of 64 and 65. Korda has a one-stroke lead over Jin Young Ko of South Korea, and she is two ahead of third-placed Brooke Henderson of Canada.

Buhai was particularly good off the tee, hitting all 14 fairways. She hit 14 of 18 greens in regulation, and made 28 putts in her round. She started her round well with a birdie on two, but she made her bogey soon afterward with a five on the par-four sixth. After the turn, she pciked up a shot on the 10th, and then made two birdies on succession on 12 and 13.

Six strokes ahead after three holes, tied with top-ranked Jin Young Ko at the turn and two shots back with three to play, Korda birdied the final two holes to take a one-stroke lead into the final round.

“I’m just trying to be patient,” Korda said. “It’s tough. It’s tough to win out here. Still have 18 holes left and I just want to give myself an opportunity to win.”

Korda shot a three-under 68 to break the tournament 54-hole record at 16 under. She matched the event course record with a 64 on Wednesday and shot a bogey-free 65 on Thursday to break the 36-hole scoring record at 13 under.

“Honestly, it’s just hitting it in the right spots,” Korda said. “Pins were definitely tougher today than they have been the last two days, more tucked, so it was hard to be aggressive on a lot of them.”

Ko shot a 66, making a 30-foot bogey putt on the par-three 18th after driving over the green and watching her second bang into the bank and roll back to her feet.

You may also like…