AIG Women's Open R3

Sophia Popov expects to be 'super nervous' taking lead into finale

August 20-23
Royal Troon Golf Club, Troon, Scotland
$4,500,000
Round 1, Round 2, Round 4



Germany’s world number 304 Sophia Popov will take a three-shot lead into the final round of the AIG Women’s Open after a flawless 67 on Saturday.



Popov, who qualified for the event just a fortnight ago, was the only player not to drop a shot in the third round at Royal Troon as she moved to four under with an eagle and two birdies.


Australia’s Minjee Lee, the world number eight chasing her first major win, and Thailand’s Jasmine Suwannapura were in a tie for second at one under.

They were the only three players under par. Americans Lindsey Weaver and Austin Ernst, and another German in Caroline Masson, were the next best in a tie for fourth on one over.



The day belonged to 27-year-old Popov, who was not playing but caddying for friend Anne Van Dam when the LPGA Tour resumed after the coronavirus stoppage last month.

It then took a top-10 finish at the recent Marathon LPGA Classic in Ohio for her to qualify for the British Open for the first time since 2011.

Popov moved to the top of the leaderboard with an eagle three at the fourth and picked up two further strokes on the back nine in her four-under-par round.


Popov told Sky Sports: “Four under, and bogey free, was more than I could have hoped for and makes me extremely happy.

“Honestly, at the beginning of the day, I said if I could keep it together and play a solid round, around even par, (I’d be satisfied). Conditions were definitely better than the first two days but they still weren’t easy.”

Popov admitted sleeping on such a lead would not be easy.

She said: “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t going to be super nervous, but I’ll try to keep the nerves to a minimum. I’ll try not to check my phone. Please nobody text me!”

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Lee, who briefly led after back-to-back birdies at the third and fourth, is also firmly in contention. She gave a shot back at the 12th but birdied 13 on her way to a 69.

Suwannapura picked up four birdies and was within one of Popov for most of her round but bogeys at the 15th and 18th were costly.

Former world number one Lydia Ko had some bright moments with four birdies but five dropped shots in her 72, ending six shots back on two over.

American Kristen Gillman was also two over after a three-under-par 68 that promised to be even better during a blistering front nine.

Gillman birdied five of the opening eight holes and was inches away from recording a hole-in-one at the Postage Stamp, Troon’s famous eighth hole.



Overnight leader Dani Holmqvist, the only player under par after two rounds, fell away badly with a 77. She started steadily with seven successive pars but then bogeyed seven of her last 11.

Inbee Park birdied three of the opening eight holes to force herself into the picture but a double bogey on the ninth and another dropped shot on the last left her where she began the day, on four over.

England’s Mel Reid, who needed a birdie on the 18th to make the cut on Friday, shot 68 to climb to six over par but Europe’s Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew dropped to eight over with a 74.

Wales’ Becky Morgan dropped four shots in as many holes on the back nine, including a double bogey on the 17th, also to end the day on eight over after carding a 74.

England’s Bronte Law was a shot further back on nine over after a 72 while 2018 winner Georgia Hall, despite three birdies on the front nine, slipped back to 10 over with a round of 74.




Pos.
Player
To Par
R1
R2
R3
Total
1
Sophia Popov
-4
70
72
67
209
T2
Minjee Lee
-1
74
69
69
212
T2
Jasmine Suwannapura
-1
71
72
69
212
T4
Austin Ernst
1
72
70
72
214
T4
Caroline Masson
1
72
74
68
214
T4
Lindsey Weaver
1
71
72
71
214
T7
Kristen Gillman
2
75
72
68
215
T7
Lydia Ko
2
72
71
72
215
T7
Emily Kristine Pedersen
2
71
72
72
215
T10
Cydney Clanton
3
74
73
69
216
T10
Katherine Kirk
3
72
77
67
216
T10
Jennifer Song
3
74
74
68
216
T13
In Gee Chun
4
72
75
70
217
T13
Ariya Jutanugarn
4
73
74
70
217
T13
Megan Khang
4
75
70
72
217
T13
Nelly Korda
4
72
72
73
217
T13
Andrea Lee
4
74
73
70
217
T13
Inbee Park
4
77
69
71
217
T19
Brittany Altomare
5
77
72
69
218
T19
Dani Holmqvist
5
71
70
77
218
T19
Yealimi Noh
5
72
73
73
218
T19
Anna Nordqvist
5
71
74
73
218
T19
Lee-Anne Pace
5
71
74
73
218
T19
Alena Sharp
5
71
74
73
218
T19
Momoko Ueda
5
75
75
68
218
T26
Ashleigh Buhai
6
74
73
72
219
T26
Caroline Inglis
6
75
71
73
219
T26
Nuria Iturrioz
6
71
74
74
219
T26
Azahara Munoz
6
74
75
70
219
T26
Mel Reid
6
78
73
68
219
T26
Lizette Salas
6
73
74
72
219
T26
Jenny Shin
6
77
73
69
219
T33
Jodi Ewart Shadoff
7
73
75
72
220
T33
Dana Finkelstein
7
77
71
72
220
T33
Hannah Green
7
75
72
73
220
T33
Moriya Jutanugarn
7
77
73
70
220
T33
Haru Nomura
7
74
70
76
220
T33
Angela Stanford
7
73
74
73
220
T33
Elizabeth Szokol
7
72
74
74
220
T40
Marina Alex
8
70
79
72
221
T40
Alison Lee
8
72
77
72
221
T40
Catriona Matthew
8
71
76
74
221
T40
Becky Morgan
8
74
73
74
221
T40
Jing Yan
8
77
73
71
221
T45
Carlota Ciganda
9
77
74
71
222
T45
Perrine Delacour
9
75
74
73
222
T45
Celine Herbin
9
74
75
73
222
T45
Cheyenne Knight
9
76
75
71
222
T45
Bronte Law
9
80
70
72
222
T45
Stephanie Meadow
9
75
75
72
222
T45
Morgan Pressel
9
77
74
71
222
T45
Anne van Dam
9
77
72
73
222
T53
Laura Fuenfstueck
10
73
78
72
223
T53
Georgia Hall
10
73
76
74
223
T53
Amy Olson
10
67
81
75
223
T53
Sarah Jane Smith
10
78
73
72
223
T57
Mi Hyang Lee
11
76
71
77
224
T57
Pernilla Lindberg
11
75
75
74
224
T57
Ally McDonald
11
74
75
75
224
T57
Emma Talley
11
77
73
74
224
T57
Amy Yang
11
73
76
75
224
62
Danielle Kang
12
76
74
75
225
T63
Sandra Gal
13
74
74
78
226
T63
Julieta Granada
13
77
73
76
226
T63
Nasa Hataoka
13
74
77
75
226
T63
Gaby Lopez
13
71
80
75
226
T63
Angel Yin
13
75
74
77
226
T68
Dottie Ardina
14
78
73
76
227
T68
Maria Fernanda Torres
14
76
72
79
227
T68
Felicity Johnson
14
76
74
77
227
T71
Stephanie Kyriacou
16
73
78
78
229
T71
Camilla Lennarth
16
75
76
78
229
73
Michele Thomson
17
73
77
80
230
74
Johanna Gustavsson
19
73
75
84
232
CUT
Celine Boutier
10
81
71
152
CUT
Nicole Broch Larsen
10
74
78
152
CUT
Hannah Burke
10
76
76
152
CUT
Peiyun Chien
10
78
74
152
CUT
Manon De Roey
10
81
71
152
CUT
Kendall Dye
10
77
75
152
CUT
Julia Engstrom
10
78
74
152
CUT
Brooke M. Henderson
10
77
75
152
CUT
In Kyung Kim
10
78
74
152
CUT
Leona Maguire
10
77
75
152
CUT
Haley Moore
10
76
76
152
CUT
Gabriela Ruffels (a)
10
79
73
152
CUT
Monique Smit
10
75
77
152
CUT
Linnea Strom
10
75
77
152
CUT
Kelly Tan
10
74
78
152
CUT
Charlotte Thompson
10
79
73
152
CUT
Carly Booth
11
80
73
153
CUT
Olivia Cowan
11
76
77
153
CUT
Lindy Duncan
11
76
77
153
CUT
Eleanor Givens
11
74
79
153
CUT
Esther Henseleit
11
78
75
153
CUT
Sarah Kemp
11
75
78
153
CUT
Stacy Lewis
11
76
77
153
CUT
Meghan Maclaren
11
78
75
153
CUT
Gerina Piller
11
81
72
153
CUT
Katja Pogacar
11
75
78
153
CUT
Yujeong Son
11
78
75
153
CUT
Klara Spilkova
11
75
78
153
CUT
Lexi Thompson
11
78
75
153
CUT
Christine Wolf
11
77
76
153
CUT
Jenny Coleman
12
78
76
154
CUT
Laura Davies
12
80
74
154
CUT
Caroline Hedwall
12
79
75
154
CUT
Kylie Henry
12
78
76
154
CUT
Karolin Lampert
12
75
79
154
CUT
Brittany Lang
12
77
77
154
CUT
Xiyu Lin
12
75
79
154
CUT
Tvesa Malik
12
79
75
154
CUT
Olivia Mehaffey (a)
12
77
77
154
CUT
Madelene Sagstrom
12
78
76
154
CUT
Hinako Shibuno
12
76
78
154
CUT
Charley Hull
13
76
79
155
CUT
Minami Katsu
13
76
79
155
CUT
Yui Kawamoto
13
75
80
155
CUT
Cristie Kerr
13
78
77
155
CUT
Nanna Koerstz Madsen
13
81
74
155
CUT
Su Oh
13
76
79
155
CUT
Luna Sobron Galmes
13
80
75
155
CUT
Aditi Ashok
14
78
78
156
CUT
Gemma Dryburgh
14
74
82
156
CUT
Alice Hewson
14
79
77
156
CUT
Mone Inami
14
77
79
156
CUT
Marianne Skarpnord
14
74
82
156
CUT
Lina Boqvist
15
75
82
157
CUT
Jennifer Chang
15
80
77
157
CUT
Diksha Dagar
15
79
78
157
CUT
Maria Fassi
15
75
82
157
CUT
Yu Liu
15
77
80
157
CUT
Sanna Nuutinen
15
74
83
157
CUT
Annie Park
15
81
76
157
CUT
Whitney Hillier
16
78
80
158
CUT
Charlotte Thomas
16
78
80
158
CUT
Ursula Wikstrom
16
81
77
158
CUT
Jennifer Kupcho
17
78
81
159
CUT
Patty Tavatanakit
17
76
83
159
CUT
Tiffany Joh
18
76
84
160
CUT
Christina Kim
18
80
80
160
CUT
Emma Nilsson
18
76
84
160
CUT
Louise Ridderstrom
22
81
83
164
CUT
Tonje Daffinrud
24
85
81
166