Song Young-han returned to the top-10 on the third day of the Japan Golf Tour’s (JGTO) Dunlop Phoenix Tournament (¥200 million purse) to continue his charge to the top of the leaderboard.
Song traded two birdies for two bogeys to shoot an even-par 71 in the third round of the tournament at the Phoenix Country Club (Par 71-7,042 yards) in Miyazaki, Japan, on Monday.
Song, who was tied for 12th in the second round, posted a three-day total of 4-under-par 209 and is tied for eighth place, eight shots behind leader Yuta Sugiura (Japan – 12-under 201).
Song, who won her second career JGTO title at the Sansan KBC Augusta in August and is fourth on the season’s money list (¥85 million), fourth in stroke average (70.069) and first in greens in regulation (74.797%), improved her chances of a ninth top-10 finish of the season despite falling a little further off the pace.
With temperatures in the low teens and winds gusting to around 10 meters per second, it was a challenging day for most players, but Song was able to hold her own.
After making her first bogey on the second hole (par-4) when her second shot went into a bunker around the green, she bounced back with a birdie on the fifth hole (par-4) and bogeyed the first hole of the back nine (par-4) before turning the tide with a birdie on the 13th hole (par-4).
After his third round, Song said, “It’s a golf course where the wind can shift and change rapidly, so I had to be careful. “It was a difficult day, but I don’t think I did anything too bad,” he said, “I was just disappointed that I didn’t make birdie on the par-5.
“I think it’s going to be important to stay in the fairways tomorrow, so I’m going to focus on my tee shots. I will try to play with a relaxed mindset, thinking positively about playing on the weekend on a course that I have been struggling with.”
Sugiura, the only amateur in the field, continued his dominance at the top of the leaderboard after the second round.
No amateur has ever finished at the top of the leaderboard in the tournament, which began in 1974 and has attracted world-class players such as Tiger Woods (2004-2005) and Tom Watson (USA, 1980-1997).
Playing in the same group as Song, 49-year-old veteran Brad Kennedy (AUS) shaved four strokes off his score on the day to move into second place (8-under 205), while Keita Nakajima (JPN), who has three wins on the JGTO this year and leads the money list, is third (7-under 206).
Japanese men’s golf standout Hideki Matsuyama, a one-time winner (2014) and runner-up (2012), is tied for fourth (5-under par 208).
Brooks Koepka, the 2016 and 2017 winner of this event and this year’s PGA Championship winner, shaved four strokes off his score on the day to move into a tie for eighth place (4-under par 209), while this year’s U.S. Open champion Wyndham Clarke (USA) dropped three strokes to finish in a tie for 44th place (2-over par 215).
Ji Ho Yang of South Korea finished the third round in a tie for 53rd place (5-over par 218). 토토사이트