Yuka Saso (AFP)

Yuka Saso struggled with a 1-over-par 73 to skid at joint 40th after three rounds in the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Florida Saturday.

Saso opened with a bogey 6 on the first hole, then stumbled with a double-bogey on the par-4 fourth before she slowly found her rhythm.

She fired four birdies in the 12 holes to make up for the two bogeys on the 11th and 16th for a three-round total of 212. She had earlier rounds of 66 and 73.

The Fil-Japanese trailed co-leaders Nasa Hataoka, Jin Young Ko, Nelly Korda and Celine Boutier by 10 shots heading to the final round Sunday.

Hataoka propelled from 19th with an explosive bogey-free 64 that included five straight birdies on the last five holes.

Jin, for her part, sizzled at the front nine with seven straight birdies starting at the second hole before bogeying the ninth to score a 66.

Korda, meanwhile, banked on an eagle 3 on the 17th to post a 67 on five birdies against two bogeys, while Boutier tightened her grip of the top spot with a 72.

Joining Saso at the crowded 40th place were Amy Olson (68), Jenny Shin (68), Jennifer Kupcho (69), Pajaree Anannarukarn (70), Yealimi Noh (70), Moriya Jutanugarn (71), and Jessica Korda (75).