WATERLOO, Ontario — The course was dry yet the greens remained soft at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic on Saturday. Players aimed straight at the pins for a third straight day and the scoreboard was loaded with low numbers as a result.
South Korea’s Hee Young Park shot a career-low 61 to move into sole possession of the lead at Grey Silo Golf Course. Her 20-under 193 total left her one shot up on American Angela Stanford and two strokes ahead of Scotland’s Catriona Matthew.
With 21 players already in double digits at 10 under or better and course conditions likely to remain the same, expect a shootout on Sunday.
“When you see everybody going low, you have to go with them or you’re going to get left behind,” Stanford said.
Park’s three-round score was the best 54-hole total on tour this year and it was just the 11th time a player has shot 61 in tour history. She almost went one better — nearly chipping in for eagle on the 18th before tapping in a short putt for her sixth birdie on the back nine alone.
“I finished really well, finished (with) the birdie, so it’s going to be fun tomorrow,” she said.
Matthew (68) started the day with a three-shot lead on Stanford (64) but fell back with a double-bogey on the par-3 12th. She followed with a birdie and got another stroke back with a birdie on the final hole.
“Yeah, didn’t maybe click quite as well today, didn’t hit it quite as close,” Matthew said. “Had a lot of chances but just kind of left a few, and then a silly double on 12, kind of getting a bit greedy going for the hole and just pulled it.
“Nice to come back with a couple birdies.”
Meena Lee of South Korea was three shots off the lead after a 65, while Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist shot a 67 and was five shots off the pace.