World No. 1 Yani Tseng clawed her way back into contention yesterday at the third round of the HSBC Women’s Champions tournament in Singapore.
Tseng, who started the day seven shots adrift of the leaderboard, posted the best third-round score of five-under 67 to leave her three shots behind the co-leaders — American duo Angela Stanford and Katie Futcher, and South Korea’s Jenny Shin.
The American duo and Shin, who shared the overnight lead, are nine-under for a total of 207 with 18 holes left to play at the US$1.4 million event being held at the Tanah Merah Country Club par-72 Garden Course.
Tseng started strongly with four birdies on the front nine as the five-time Major champion signaled her desire to win the tournament for the first time.
Only a costly bogey at the eleventh marred the Taiwanese superstar’s round.
“I know it’s much better than the last two days, I made some putts today, I am hitting the ball better and having fun out there,” the 23-year-old said.
Tseng had her right elbow partially covered with a plaster to help with tendonitis that has been afflicting her in recent weeks, but said she would remain aggressive for the final 18 holes.
“Today I just told myself I want to try and make birdie every hole and try to get close every shot, be aggressive and don’t worry about too much,” said Tseng, who has said that the injury is not affecting her play. “I will do my best tomorrow. This golf course is very tough, so you need to be patient, play smart, but I will just go aggressive, be the same as today.”
Futcher could have enjoyed a one-shot cushion had she not bogeyed the 18th, but the 30-year-old American said her confidence remained intact despite the errant last hole.
“If I play my game, I know I can win. The tee shot in the last shot was just a bad swing,” she said.
Shin’s most challenging moment was closing out her round at the 18th with a four-foot birdie putt and the 19-year-old South Korean said she would enjoy playing in the final group today.
“Today I wasn’t too nervous during the round except for the last putt ... That’s how important it was,” Shin said.