Germany’s Sophia Popov produced a flawless third spherical 67 to emerge as a shock three-shot chief on the Women’s British Commence at Royal Troon on Saturday.
On a day when the sun at final came out but a stressful wind restful web page online a stern test, the 27-one year-extinct performed on four beneath par 209.
Australia’s Minjee Lee and Thailand’s Jasmine Suwannapura had been tied for second web page online. Taking part in collectively, they both shot 69 for one beneath par.
Lee-Anne Race is the absolute top placed South African, 9 photos within the serve of Popov, whereas Ashleigh Buhai is an additional one shot within the serve of creep.
Popov has never obtained on the LPGA Tour and has no longer managed a top 50 pause in any of the women’s majors.
Her fully efficiency on this tournament was once a tie for 57th scheme serve as a teen at Carnoustie in 2011.
But she confirmed her class by changing into the first player within the championship to shoot a bogey-free spherical and he or she highlighted the effort with an eagle three on the long fourth, holing from ten ft.
She picked up her first birdie on the 12th and then slotted home a monster putt for a two on the par three 17th.
Popov fully certified for the tournament with a top ten pause on the Marathon Traditional in Ohio earlier within the month and final week she was once playing on the Symetra Tour in stifling warmth in Arizona.
She fully flew into Scotland on Tuesday.
“The eagle was once a large kick launch, and from then on every little thing went my scheme,” she acknowledged.
“Usually I’m too hard on myself. Or no longer it’s no longer life like to depend on excellent golf, in particular out here.
“Seeing myself on this web page online per week or two ago would had been unreal. But I do know I’m capable.
“My boyfriend is on the gain this week and that helps. He played for the men’s German crew – that’s how we met.
She added: “I overlooked qualifying for the chunky LPGA Tour by one shot final one year and I had barely of a psychological lunge all over the winter. The next day to come to come it’s dazzling me versus stress.”
Popov has obtained three events on the Cactus Tour in Arizona and most likely it’s an omen – one of her wins came in Can also at a course known as Troon North.
Lee has on the total been viewed as a first-rate winner in ready, and a spherical of thee birdies would possibly per chance well even had been even larger if she had taken all her probabilities.
She has obtained 5 events on the LPGA Tour and had a top ten pause on the 2015 Women’s British Commence at within sight Turnberry.
“The next day to come to come, I could per chance well even cherish the climate to be cherish the first two days, surely tough,” she acknowledged.
Suwannapura had four birdies to enhance her hopes of joining Ariya Jutanugarn, the 2016 winner, as a Thai winner of the title.
“Your whole week has been very tough,” acknowledged the 27-one year-extinct.
“After this form of long spoil, I’m surely dazzling grateful that we are playing match golf again.”
Lydia Ko maintained her hopes of a third main, and a restoration from a lunge in affect, with a fighting 72.
She goes into the closing spherical six photos off the lead.
But it no doubt was once a sad third spherical for the halfway chief, Dani Holmqvist.
The Swede eased by scheme of the first seven holes in stage par but then dropped four photos within the next 5 holes.
She performed with a 77 for five over par and 9 within the serve of Popov.
209 – Sophia Popov (GER) 70 72 67
212 – Minjee Lee (AUS) 74 69 69, Jasmine Suwannapura (THA) 71 72 69
214 – Caroline Masson (GER) 72 74 68, Lindsey Weaver (USA) 71 72 71, Austin Ernst (USA) 72 70 72
215 – Kristen Gillman (USA) 75 72 68, Lydia Ko (NZL) 72 71 72, Emily Kristine Pedersen (DEN) 71 72 72
216 – Katherine Kirk (AUS) 72 77 67, Jennifer Tune (USA) 74 74 68, Cydney Clanton (USA) 74 73 69
217 – Andrea Lee (USA) 74 73 70, Chun In-jee (KOR) 72 75 70, Ariya Jutanugarn (THA) 73 74 70, Park Inbee (KOR) 77 69 71, Megan Khang (USA) 75 70 72, Nelly Korda (USA) 72 72 73
218 – Momoka Ueda (JA) 75 75 68, Brittany Altomare (USA) 77 72 69, Alena Challenging (CAN) 71 74 73, Lee-Anne Race (RSA) 71 74 73, Yealimi Noh (USA) 72 73 73, Anna Nordqvist (SWE) 71 74 73, Daniela Holmqvist (SWE) 71 70 77
219 – Mel Reid (GBR) 78 73 68, Jenny Shin (KOR) 77 73 69, Azahara Munoz (ESP) 74 75 70, Lizette Sala (USA) 73 74 72, Ashleigh Buhai (RSA) 74 73 72, Catoline Inglis (USA) 75 71 73, Nuria Iturrioz (ESP) 71 74 74