Pajaree Anannarukarn of Thailand shot a 7-under-par 66 on Saturday to vault into a three-way tie for the lead of the ISPS Handa World Invitational at Galgorm, Northern Ireland.
Anannarukarn moved to 13-under 205 and shares the top spot in advance of Sunday's final round with Jennifer Kupcho (70)and Emma Talley (73), both of the United States.
The 22-year-old Anannarukarn managed to shoot the low round of the day despite two bogeys on the front nine, although she did have an eagle at No. 3. She closed her round with six birdies on the back nine and seven in her final 10 holes.
"I just kind of told myself that, OK, it happened, and just kind of keep focusing on your game," Anannarukarn said after her two front-nine bogeys. "Just try to hit it good, like lots of good shots and give yourself lots of opportunities, then you will be in a good position."
She not only put herself on good position on the par-73 Galgorm Castle course, she also is closing in on her first LPGA victory. She contended last weekend at the Evian Championship before fading down the stretch.
"I mean, it's going to be a dream come true, obviously," she said when asked about the possibility of winning her first trophy on tour. "I think it's just going to ... I don't know. It's still going to be 18 holes to go, and I think I'm just going to focus on doing what I can do (Sunday)."
Talley started the day with a three-shot lead but watched the field close in as she shot an even-par 73. The round included two bogeys and a double-bogey at No. 9.
Kupcho started the day tied for second place at 10 under before her 3-under 70 that included a hot start with two birdies on her first three holes. She also closed strong with three birdies over her last six holes. She played the final two holes of the day at 2 under.
"I've been in the last group before. It's the same as always," said Kupcho, who also is looking for her first LPGA Tour victory.
"It's different on a Saturday than on a Sunday, so just trying to stay in it and not paying attention to what everyone else is doing. There's still lots of golf left, so just trying to focus on my own game."
Alone in fourth place at 13 under is Chella Choi of South Korea after her 71 on Saturday, while Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand is another two shots back in fifth place after shooting a 70. Choi and Kupcho were tied for second place at the start of the third round.
Thailand's Wichanee Meechai and Australia's Sue Oh are tied for sixth place at 9 under, while a group of five tied for eighth at 8 under includes Liz Nagel, Ryann O'Toole, Mina Harigae, Australia's Sarah Kemp and England's Charley Hull.
The event is co-sanctioned by the LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and European Tour. A field of 144 men are also competing on the same courses and the prize funds will be split equally between the women and men.
--Field Level Media