REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN – Nasa Hataoka will start the final round of the CP Women’s Open in a tie for second at 13-under 203, after keeping alive her hopes of a second career title with a solid third round on Saturday.
Hataoka, who shot a 69 that featured six birdies and three bogeys, and American Angel Yin are both one shot behind Canadian Brooke Henderson, who is alone in first place after 54 holes at the Wascana Country Club.
“My condition is getting better and I’m getting more aggressive,” Hataoka said.
“I hope to leave it all out there (on Sunday) so there’s nothing to regret,” she said.
The 19-year-old is aiming for her first victory since earning her maiden LPGA Tour title at the NW Arkansas Championship in June.
Hataoka, who has seven top-10 finishes this season, nearly matched local favorite Henderson at 14-under, but bogeyed her last hole.
World No. 1 and defending CP Women’s Open champion Park Sung-hyun of South Korea is alone in fourth at 12-under, with two players sharing fifth place at 11-under.
Harukyo Nomura posted a 75 and sits in a tie for 55th at 2-under.
In Sunday’s final round, which will start at 7 a.m. because rain and thunderstorms are forecast, Hataoka is paired with Henderson and Yin in the final group.
Jocelyne Bourassa is the only Canadian to win the national championship, accomplishing the feat in 1973 at Montreal Municipal in the inaugural La Canadienne.
“I don’t know a ton, but she was an amazing golfer,” Henderson said. “To win the national championship at home, it’s truly amazing, especially in front of these crowds. I definitely will hope to be somewhat like her tomorrow and be able to finish the job.”
Henderson won the LOTTE Championship in April in Hawaii for her sixth LPGA Tour title. She again attracted a large gallery, with fans lining the fairways to watch her.
“It’s amazing to see all the little kids out here,” Henderson said. “If I high-five them or sign something for them, just their face kind of lights up, and it’s a really cool feeling for me. I remember being in their shoes, as well, and I know it’s really meaningful when somebody like myself spends that little bit extra with them.”
Henderson birdied the 12th, 13th and 14th — with her eagle chip on the par-5 14th hitting the back of the cup and staying out — to get to 15 under. She saved par with a 20-foot putt on the par-4 16th, then dropped a stroke when she missed a short putt on par-5 17th.
“The conditions have changed a lot over the course of the week and today it played really tough,” Henderson said. “I think you can see that on the leaderboard, as well. People were having some trouble with it. Hopefully, go out tomorrow, make a lot of birdies, and just kind of see what happens.”
Su Oh (69) and Austin Ernst (70) were 11 under, and three-time champion Lydia Ko (68) topped the group at 10 under. Second-round leader Amy Yang also was 10 under after a 75.