Juntanugarn in lead at Canadian Women's Open

28 August 2016, 08:24 | Kristine Mills

Lydia Ko is off the pace in her bid to retain her crown at the Canadian Women's Open where Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn is in hot form.

Seeking her fifth win in a breakout season, the Thai built a five-stroke lead with three holes remaining, only to bogey the 16th and 18th after missing 10-foot putts on both greens at Priddis Greens Golf & Country Club in Calgary.

South Korea's In Gee Chun watches her tee shot on the first hole during the third round of the LPGA Canadian Open tournament in Priddis, Alberta, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016.

"I just had to rest and take care of my knee", Jutanugarn said.

"After I won my first tournament, I kind of know how I play under pressure, so I know when I get really excited what I have to do", she told reporters.

"I played pretty solid the past few days", said Ko, who has won the Canadian Open in three of the past four years including last year at the Vancouver Golf Club in Coquitlam, B.C.

Five players, including world number one Lydia Ko, are a further shot back at eight under and will all be eyeing a charge for the trophy over the weekend.

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"I feel like I am okay".

She has a three-shot cushion on her closest competitors, with South Korea's In Gee Chun and Northern Ireland's Stephanie Meadow splitting second at 9-under.

More and more people will continue to flock to watch the 18-year-old who is now a three-time LPGA victor and major champion. "It's definitely a lot of fun to play in front of, and I've been really enjoying it".

With nine top-10 finishes this year, she is now second behind Ko in the Rolex World Rankings and second on the money list with earnings of US$1.7 million this year.

Jutanugarn, who sits at 12-under heading into the weekend, showed little ill-effect from the knee injury that forced her to withdraw from the Olympic golf competition last week in Rio de Janeiro. I think I need to be a little bit aggressive.

"I don't think I'll change my gameplan", Ko said. "It's been a bonus on top of that to play well".

The three-time victor of the tournament - twice as an amateur and previous year as a professional - mixed five birdies and two bogeys in her second-round 69, heading into moving day on eight-under and in a share of fourth. You know, she hits the ball a mile, and I'm just an average tour-length player.



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