EVIAN-LES-BAINS, FRANCE – Nasa Hataoka climbed five spots to 11th on Saturday at the Evian Championship but sits seven strokes off the lead in the final major of the LPGA season.
Hataoka, who started four shots back, carded four birdies against a lone bogey at the Evian Resort Golf Club for a third-round 68, but is likely too far back to challenge 54-hole leader Amy Olsen of the United States in the final round on Sunday.
“I think I had my best shots of the three rounds,” Hataoka said.
“It would’ve been better if I made two or three more birdies to improve my score, but I’m feeling good after that positive ending,” she said after chipping in for birdie from 20 yards on the 18th.
Olsen, who was one of four joint leaders after the second round, fired a bogey-free 65 to break clear at 14-under. She takes a two-shot lead over South Korea’s Kim Sei-young into the final round, where the American will be bidding to win her first major title.
Kim is two shots ahead of American Mo Martin with South Korea’s seven-time major winner and recent world No. 1 Park Inbee in a tie for fourth, five shots off the lead.
Hataoka said she still has a chance to win if she shoots a low score and replicates her performance at the Women’s PGA Championship in July, when she entered the final round in 23rd place and shot a 64 to claw her way into a three-way playoff before finishing in a tie for second.