Stephanie Kyriacou will start the final round of the Dana Open six strokes off the lead but in position to record her best finish on the LPGA Tour.
As Sweden’s Linn Grant flirted with 59 on her way to a 9-under 62 and a six-stroke lead, Kyriacou moved into a tie for second with a third round of 6-under 65 at Highland Meadows Golf Club.
It was at the back end of each nine where the Sydneysider made her move, rounding out the back nine with three birdies in the final four holes and then storming up the leaderboard with four birdies in her final six holes.
A two-time winner on the Ladies European Tour and in her second year on the LPGA Tour, Kyriacou’s best finish in America is a tie for 10th at last year’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and just a few weeks ago at the Mizuho Americas Open.
The 22-year-old revealed after her round that after more than a decade using a Yes! putter, she put a Scotty Cameron Newport into the bag for the first time this week with immediate effect.
“It was either going to be really good or really bad,” Kyriacou joked. “So I’m glad it was really good.
“I holed some nice putts, I’ve given myself some opportunities as well, which has been good but really converted them.”
Although six strokes off the lead, Kyriacou has not ruled out reeling Grant in over the final 18 holes as she chases a breakthrough LPGA Tour win.
“I haven’t really put myself in contention too much so I need to kind of figure out how to deal with that,” she conceded.
“I know Linn’s having a really good day today so I’m just going to do the same thing and then hopefully I can follow in her footsteps.”
Kyriacou is in a share of second with Matilda Castren (67), Emily Kristine Pedersen (67), Maria Fassi (67) and US Women’s Open champion Allisen Corpuz, fellow Australian Minjee Lee a shot further back in a tie for seventh at 11-under par.
The highlight of Lee’s round was a hole-out eagle at the par-4 ninth although she did hole a bunker shot for par later in her round that was also crucial in maintaining momentum in a round of 4-under 67.
Grace Kim also made a positive move in Saturday’s third round, a round of 3-under 68 elevating her to a share of 14th position at 9-under par.
One-under through 16 holes, the 22-year-old made birdie at both 17 and 18 to give herself a slightly later tee time on Sunday.
Robyn Choi is the best of the Aussies at the Epson Tour’s Hartford Healthcare Women’s Championship. After a second round of 2-over 74 Choi is in a tie for 22nd at 1-under par, Hira Naveed (71) a further shot back in a tie for 29th as Cassie Porter (76) missed the cut.
Women’s NSW Open champion Momoka Kobori’s tie for 14th leads the Australasian contingent at the Aramco Team Series – London on the Ladies European Tour, West Australian Kirsten Rudgeley tied for 25th and 12 back of leader Nelly Korda with one round to play at Centurion Club.
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