World No 1 Ariya Jutanugarn looked set to retain her lead at the Blue Bay LPGA in China on Saturday – until some last-minute fireworks from Gaby Lopez.
Lopez, who joined the LPGA Tour in 2016 and is still searching for her first win, trailed Jutanugarn by three shots with two holes to play in Hainan Island before a stunning hole-in-one at the 17th and a closing birdie at the par-5 18th saw her finish with a one-shot lead at nine under par.
Her six-under-par 66 was the low round of the week at the challenging Jian Lake Blue Bay Golf Course, an amazing effort.
Jutanugarn looked set to at least retain a share of the lead before bogeying the 18th for a 71 to complete the dramatic turnaround.
Lopez now finds herself in pole position ahead of Sunday’s final round, albeit with lots of work left to do in order to clinch her maiden LPGA victory.
Jutanugarn continued to look pretty solid on Saturday, picking up two birdies and an eagle, but three bogeys limited her gains. The Thai star will certainly fancy her chances of forcing a positive result come Sunday.
The tournament looks to be a two-horse race at this stage, with South Korean duo Sung Hyun Park and Sei Young Kim the nearest challengers at four under par, five shots off the lead and four behind Jutanugarn – although the chasing pack will certainly come into play if the top two both capitulate.
Francesco Molinari is set to receive a hero’s welcome upon his return to Rome for the Italian Open from October 10-13.
Gary Woodland had one very special supporter cheering him on on Sunday. You might remember her.
Brooks Koepka came very close to winning his third straight US Open title at Pebble Beach on Sunday, but ultimately came off second best.
After scrambling his way through the first three rounds of the US Open, Justin Rose’s short game couldn’t save him again on Sunday.
Gary Woodland showed plenty of guts as he held off Brooks Koepka to win the US Open on Sunday.
Brooke Henderson clinched the ninth title of her impressive young career with a one-stroke victory at the LPGA Meijer Classic on Sunday.
Phil Mickelson’s career Grand Slam dreams faded once again at Pebble Beach on Saturday, but he couldn’t blame the USGA for it this time.
Rory McIlroy is far from ready to throw in the towel at the US Open, despite being five shots off the pace.
Brooks Koepka moved into tied-third place at the US Open on Saturday, spelling potential danger for the two players just ahead of him.