Inbee Park was mad, even if it didn’t show in her always placid demeanor.
She had made bogey, her third in a row, on a hole she thought she should have birdied, and the world’s top-ranked player was looking a bit shaky in Southampton, N.Y.
Time for a clutch putt.
Park is now one round away from history, leading the U.S. Women’s Open by 4 strokes. She shot 1-under 71 on Saturday in harsh conditions at Sebonack and was 10 under for the tournament.
Fellow South Korean I.K. Kim had a 73 to remain in second but lost 2 strokes to Park. With the wind whipping, the course set up long and the pin placements tricky, Park was the only player to shoot under par in the third round.
No one has ever won the first three majors in a year when there were at least four.
“I’m just going to try to do the same thing that I did for the last three days,” Park said. “Yeah, it will be a big day. But it’s just a round of golf, and I just try not to think about it so much.”
She wasn’t too disappointed by her bogeys on the 11th and 12th; those were tough holes. But on the par-5 13th, her chip on her third shot rolled into the bunker when it should have put her in position for a birdie putt.
She still led by 3 strokes but appeared vulnerable — at least by her recently lofty standards.
“That bogey was a bad bogey,” Park said, “so after that I really got my concentration going.”
She was unlucky then lucky on the par-4 14th. She thought her second shot would be pushed back by the wind, but it carried too far and settled on the ridge above the hole. No worries: Park simply holed a 30-foot, downhill putt for birdie.
“That was a big putt for me,” she said. “Those three bogeys were very tough to handle in the kind of situation that I was in.”
A hole later, she made a 15-foot birdie putt.
It looked as though nobody would break par for the day until she birdied No. 18. Only five players were under par for the tournament.
England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff (74) was third at 3 under. She had to play 21 holes Saturday after the second round was suspended the night before because of fog. Park had good timing Friday: Her group was on the 18th fairway when the horn sounded, so she was able to finish off her round and rest up for the weekend.
Not a morning person, Ewart Shadoff didn’t enjoy waking up at 4:30 a.m. She birdied the 18th hole to earn a spot in the final group with Park and Kim, then took a nap in the four-plus hours between rounds.
Ewart Shadoff had a chance to make things interesting on No. 12 with Park on the way to a bogey. But her long birdie putt slid over the hole, and she missed the par putt. Instead of pulling within two strokes of Park, Ewart Shadoff remained four back.
Then she bogeyed two of the last three holes.
Kim had a double bogey on No. 3 to fall back. She played 1 under the rest of the way, but that one bad hole allowed Park to put some distance between them.
“She is playing great. But you never know, I might have a great day tomorrow,” Kim said. “So golf is a different thing than other sports. That’s why you play four rounds.”
If Park shoots even-par or better Sunday, it will be just the fourth time the U.S. Women’s Open was won with a score in double digits below par.
Fred Couples birdied three of the final five holes for a 3-under 67 and a 2-stroke lead after the third round of the Senior Players Championship in Pittsburgh.
Couples completed a 62 in the morning in the rain-delayed second round and had a 15-under 195 total at Fox Chapel.
Kenny Perry was second in the Champions Tour major. He finished off a 63 in the morning and backed it up with another 63 in the afternoon. Duffy Waldorf was third at 11 under after rounds of 67 and 66.
First-round leader John Huston briefly pulled into a tie with Couples early in the third round, but bogeyed the final two holes for a 68 to join Mike Goodes (65) at 10 under.
The 53-year-old Couples appeared ready to run away with the tournament Friday, when he streaked to 7 under through 11 holes of the second round before a torrential downpour halted play for the day.
The deluge cooled Couples off a bit. He two-putted from 60 feet on the par-3 third when he returned to the course Saturday morning then rolled in five consecutive pars before finishing his round off with a birdie on the par-4 ninth for an 8-under 62.
The score matched the lowest ever in one of the Champions Tour’ five majors. Several players have reached the mark in the tour’s 34 seasons, with Olin Browne being the last in the second round of last year’s Senior Players.
It’s a number Perry nearly matched twice in the span of six hours. Perry played the last six holes of the second round Saturday morning in 4 under — including an eagle on the short par-4 seventh — to get within 6 shots of the Couples after 36 holes.
A triple bogey for Bill Haas. Double bogeys for Andres Romero and Roberto Castro. They still wound up in a four-way tie for the lead in the AT&T National in Bethesda, Md., with James Driscoll, whose third round was pleasantly dull.
Castro put the right finishing touch on a wild day at Congressional when he hit into the water on the 18th, and then chipped in for par from 80 feet for a 71. Haas made nine birdies and had to settle for a 68. Romero lost a 3-shot lead in two holes and wound up with a 70. Driscoll had a 68, his third consecutive round in the 60s.
Dutch golfer Joost Luiten will take a 1-shot lead into the final round at the Irish Open today in Maynooth, Irleand, with a chance at his second victory this month.
Luiten moved to 13 under par and 1 stroke ahead of Pablo Larrazabal of Spain after both players shot bogey-free 6-under 66s at Carton House.