NAPLES, FLORIDA – Nasa Hataoka carded a 2-under-par 70 in the third round of the CME Group Tour Championship on Saturday and is tied for 12th place, 10 shots behind leader Lexi Thompson of the United States.
Hataoka, who started the second round of the LPGA’s season-ending event one shot off the pace before a 76, struggled with a bogey and a double bogey on the front nine at Tiburon Golf Club.
The 19-year-old rebounded after the turn, sinking three of her five birdies including two straight on the par-5 14th and par-4 15th holes.
“I was really struggling to get a birdie, so it was a frustrating round,” Hataoka said. “But it was really big to get birdies on No. 14 and 15.
“The gap from the lead has widened, but I want to work hard to make it into the top-10 or top-5 (on the final day).”
Thompson leads at 16-under, three shots ahead of her compatriot Nelly Korda. Spain’s Carlota Ciganda rounds out the top-3 with 10-under.
Among other Japanese golfers, Sakura Yokomine and Ayako Uehara both shot 1-over 73s and sit in 37th and 56th, respectively.