Dottie Ardina of the Philippines jumped to solo sixth place in the leaderboard following an impressive four-under-par 68 performance in the third round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at the Highlands Course of the Atlanta Athletic Club in Georgia.
After two days of her two-under-par 70 in the tournament, Ardina had her best performance so far in the $4.8 million event.
The 27-year-old Filipino golfer, now in her eight year as a pro, had a bogey free round that saw her convert four birdies, which started on the difficult par-5 2 – the second time in three days she birdied the hole.
Ardina also birdied on 13,14 and 16.
A former five-time US Kids Champion (2002 to 2006), Ardina is eight-under for the tournament with a three-day total of 208 – or seven shots off the co-leaders in Nelly Korda and Lizette Salas of the US both at 201.
Salas shot a third round five-under par 67, while Korda had a four-under 68 following her remarkable second round performance where she made 10 birdies, including six straight from 4 to 9 before she bogeyed on 10.
In the third round, the 22-year-old Korda also went bogey free as she buried four birdies, which came on 1,2, 5 and 13. She started the tournament with a 70 in the first round.
Salas, meantime, finished with a 67 for the third straight time as she made six birdies – 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 8. If not with that single bogey on 10, the 31-year-old golfer would have been on top of the leaderboard.
Salas and Korda – both looking for their first major title – are five shots ahead of three players as Patty Tavatanakit of Thailand, Giulia Molinaro of Italy, and France’s Celine Boutier are tied for third to fifth places.
Tavatanakit fired a 65, Molinaro had a 66 while Boutier finished with a 69 for a similar 206. Tied for seventh to eight spots are Madelene Sagstrom of Sweden and Esther Henseleit of Germany at 209.
Yuka Saso, also of the Philippines and the reigning US Women’s Open champion, is tied with 13 other players for 38th to 51st places at 218. The 20-year-old Saso shot a third round three-over-par 75.
Saso, and Bianca Pagdanganan – who missed the cut – are using the tournament as part of their preparation for next month’s Tokyo Olympics. The two are expected to make the final 60 players for the Games in Japan.