Su Oh is zeroing in on her first tournament win in seven years after a fine 68 on Saturday set the pace in the Fortinet WPGA at Royal Queensland.
The 25-year-old rediscovered her touch with five birdies to regain the lead after a ragged second round of 72 had left the Victorian playing catch-up.
Oh (66-72-68) was still surprised to find herself with a two-shot lead because a lack of leaderboards and in circumstances where playing in a different group to her two closest challengers made keeping track difficult.
Oh shrugged and said she’d stay in her own zone, keep making birdies and hope the rest would take care of itself in the final round on Sunday.
At seven-under-par, she is in the box seat to press on for the Karrie Webb Cup and her first win since the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters on the Gold Coast in 2015.
She holds a two-shot lead over LPGA regular Sarah Jane Smith (71-68-69) and rookie Grace Kim (69-68-71), who have made it a fascinating three-way tussle. The trio were all locked at six-under early on Saturday.
Kim reached the lead at eight-under before a stumble over the closing holes handed the edge back to her far more experienced competitor.
“I played quite well. I think it’s just sort of try and shoot as many under par as possible on Sunday because there are not a lot of leaderboards to see out there,” Oh said. “It’s a difficult course. Try your best and see where you end up I think.”
The course is tricky enough for sudden changes at the top. The three top contenders all had a double bogey.
Oh’s one trip-up on the par four 16th, when she found the rough and had a three-putt, came out of the blue after five birdies and a trouble-free run.
At her best, she holed an excellent putt for birdie from nearly five metres on the third after her approach released and rolled pin high.
She is excited to have put herself in a position to win again with more golf like that.
“You lose a lot more than you win in this sport. Yeah, hopefully I can get the job done. It would be nice to reassure myself,” Oh said.
“I mean, finishing second is always a bit annoying but I think if I can just keep knocking on that door, I’m sure I can get the job done.”