Second-round leader Kim Kaufman holed out from the bunker for birdie on the par-3 seventh hole which helped her take a two-stroke lead into the final round of the LPGA’s Vic Open.
The American otherwise had a forgettable third round with four bogeys and a double bogey in tough windy conditions late Saturday for a 3-over 75. France’s Celine Boutier (69) and Su Oh of Australia (74) were tied for second.
Kaufman’s shot from the bunker bounded straight off the bottom of the flagstick and into the hole. She raised her arms in triumph and then high-fived her caddie.
“It was so windy in that bunker,” said Kaufman. “My club wasn’t even set but I stood there too long and thought ‘I’ve just got to hit this’ and as soon as I did I thought ‘It’s gone way too far.’ I just jarred it.
“It was a great time to do it. That round was six hours of getting beat up by the wind.”
Canadians Alena Sharp and Anne-Catherine Tanguay were tied for 15th.
Going into Sunday’s final round at the 13th Beach Golf Links, Kaufman had a 54-hole total of 10-under 207.
In the European Tour’s men’s event being played alongside the women’s tournament, Australian Wade Ormsby, who shot 70, will take a two-stroke lead into the final round. Callum Shinkwin of England (66) and Australian Matthew Stieger (65) were tied for second.
Strong winds hit the course in the early afternoon, making scoring difficult for the late starters.
That didn’t bother Stieger, who won the Australian amateur title in 2011 and who played his junior golf at St. Michael’s, an ocean-side course in Sydney.
“I’ve played a lot of golf in the wind so I actually like these types of conditions,” said Stieger. “The first day it didn’t blow at all and I shot 1-under. Then yesterday it blew in the afternoon, I shot 5 under and then it blew this morning and I shot 7-under. So it’s getting better and better, which is good. I’m just hoping for another day like this tomorrow.”
Under the tournament format, 144 men and women began play on two courses in alternate groups on Thursday. The Friday cut saw 65 players and ties advance to Saturday, and then the top 35 and ties from each tournament moved on to Sunday’s final round, using only the Beach course on the weekend and again in alternate groups.
Defending women’s champion Minjee Lee missed the third-round cut after a 74 Saturday.
The Women’s Australian Open, also sanctioned by the LPGA, will be played next week at The Grange in Adelaide. The men’s European Tour is co-sanctioning the Perth World Super 6 in Western Australia next week.