But she struggled over the closing stretch, with a bogey at the 16 followed by a four-putt, double bogey at the 17 hole to fall six-back of Kim.
Kim’s 17-under-par total of 199 was a championship 54-hole record – one better than Ariya Jutanugarn at Woburn 12 months ago. “I adjusted to the green out there”. “I’m just trying to get as many birdies as I can out there”.
She couldn’t have imagined breaking the course record after three holes as she was one-over-par following a skulled lob wedge on the par-5 second.
“I had to work at being nice to myself, to show compassion and gentleness”.
Lexi Thompson, who started the third round just two shots behind, stumbled to a 74 and wound up 10 shots back. “I would have taken that at the start but maybe not after nine holes, when I was three-under”, said the Dunblane woman, who is based these days in Portugal.
“It’s my first season in America and I think I’ve missed five or six cuts by a shot – the difference from that to contending is very, very small out there”.
Ariya Jutanugarn may be fighting a cold but memories of her Women’s British Open win previous year are keeping her warm as she begins her title defence at Kingsbarns today.
As the World’s best female golfers descend on Kingsbarns for the Ricoh Women’s British Open and a test of golf they aren’t often accustomed to, the question of preparation for links golf naturally arises.
In Round 3, it was Kim’s putting that was dead aim as she repeatedly delivered shots to the bow of the field.
Sally Watson, the only Scot left in the tournament, dropped three shots for a round of 75 to finish level par.
“I said to him, ‘can you come out with me for the rest of the year please?’ because I get good energy from him, he’s really good with me”. “But I feel like I think I should give myself a little bit of credit, and enjoy tonight, and then whatever happens tomorrow, I’ll take it tomorrow”.
She posted an eagle, two birdies and a bogey on her outward nine. Even five years on, the memory lives on of her clasping her hand over her mouth when she missed her tap-in for victory, eventually losing in a playoff to Sun-Young Yoo.
“I holed a great putt on the second and had a tap-in on the third”. I think playing the Scottish Open really helped me to prepare for this week because we had so much wind over there and I never got used to the ground and how to play in one week.
“I can hear her whistles and cheers on the golf course”, said Lewis.