OTTAWA — Two former teammates are tied atop the leaderboard at the CP Women's Open, vying for their first wins on the LPGA Tour.
South Korea's Hye-Jin Choi and Narin An are tied at 16-under overall after three rounds at the Canadian women's golf championship. They played together last month at the Dow Great Lakes Invitational and have known each other for more than five years after playing against each other in Asia.
"It was only about a month ago that we played on the same team and played well," said Choi, who was paired with An and American Lindy Duncan on Saturday. "Obviously, we’re both focusing on our individual play when we played together today, but I hope we both play well tomorrow and put up a good score."
An, the tournament's second-round leader, shot a 3-under 68 to stay atop the leaderboard. Choi fired a 5-under 66 to move up into a tie with An.
"I didn’t like my play today as much as I did yesterday and two days ago," said An. "But I think not making any big mistakes is a positive to take away."
South Africa's Paula Reto (67), the first-round leader after setting a course record at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club on Thursday, sat in third. Sarah Schmelzel (66) and Nelly Korda (68) of the United States were tied for fourth at 14 under.
If Korda wins the tournament she will reclaim the top spot in the women's world golf rankings.
"At the end of the day, you're not going to move up the leaderboard unless you make the putts," said Korda. "I'm going to go to the range, try and get my swing in order, because I was kind of hitting it all over the place on the front nine.
"Hopefully I can get a one good one going tomorrow."
World No. 5 Brooke Henderson, from nearby Smiths Falls, Ont., shot a 2-over 73 to tumble down the leaderboard. She started the day tied for 32nd but finished the third round at 3 under, tied for 60th.
Henderson had two birdies on her front nine but then missed birdie puts on Nos. 10 and 11, with a bogey and double bogey on 12 and 13 respectively.
"Golf is so funny. I could have been minus-9 through 11 holes today, like total score minus-9, so easily, if I make that putt on 10 and 11," said Henderson. "Instead that rattles me a little bit and then I go onto have a not-so memorable back nine."
Henderson has the most wins of any Canadian professional golfer, regardless of gender, and is the face of the CP Women's Open. Hundreds of fans followed her around Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club, where she is an honorary member and she's featured in most of the event's promotional materials.
"I feel like it's an honour to be able to play in front of so many people, so I'm just trying to make the most of it," said Henderson. "I won't blame them if they don't follow me tomorrow and follow the leaders, but it's been an amazing week so far."
After Henderson finished her round most of her gallery migrated to Maddie Szeryk's group. Szeryk (69), from London, Ont., was the low Canadian, tied for 11th at 9 under.
"It's the Canadian Open, it's a major for us," said Szeryk, who noticed her crowds swell after Henderson completed her round. "All the friends and family are here, and just to play well in front of the Canadian crowd is really special."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 27, 2022.
John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press