ST. ANDREWS, Scotland —
Her first putt was a yard off line and settled 8 feet below the cup, leading to another three-putt bogey.
But it was tough for everyone in the afternoon — except for Choi, who had a score that looked as if she were on the New Course — and Park isn’t ruling herself out.
Neither is anyone else.
“The tough, gritty players can win this,” Stacy Lewis said after a hard-fought 72 left her five shots behind. “Anybody under par is not out of this.”
Choi was at 10-under 134.
Morgan Pressel took another step toward locking up a spot on the Solheim Cup team with a 70 in the morning, leaving her two shots out of the lead. She now can think squarely about the Women’s British Open, and perhaps adding a second major to the Kraft Nabisco Championship she won in 2007 as an 18-year-old.
Nicole Castrale, also making a last-ditch effort to make the Solheim Cup team, shot 34 on the tough back nine for a 70 and was in the group at 7-under 137 that included Jee Young Lee and Suzann Pettersen.
Choi is a former U.S. Women’s Open champion, so she has proved she can handle difficult conditions. What helped was having her entire team with her this week — notably her Irish coach, Robin Symes, and his friend, who is working as a caddie. Her game management coaches, Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott, also are at St. Andrews.
She had to handle the blustery wind by herself.
“I had a daily goal, so I just tried to stick with the goal,” Choi said. “It could be like par is 74 or 75 today. But I didn’t care — par 3, par 4, par 5, doesn’t matter to me. I just try to play one shot at a time, and I think that’s why I had great results.”