American Lilia Vu holds a one-shot lead at the end of the third day of the Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by Public Investment Fund.
The 25-year-old fired a round of seven-under-par on day three at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club to climb to the top of the leaderboard.
It was a good start to the day for Vu, who rolled in a birdie on the first, however, she soon dropped her only shot of the day on the second hole.
Back-to-back birdies on holes three, four and five put the American back in control and she rolled in further birdies on nine and 14.
Vu ended her round in style with a long eagle putt on the 18th to seal a 65 and move to the top of the leaderboard on 18-under-par.
“It was really fun,” she said. “I had a really long putt from the front of the green with a back left pin. It was about 24 paces and I just hit and hope on that one.
“I find I play my best when I’m having fun, so I’m just going to try and do that tomorrow. I had a lot of fun playing with Lydia [Ko] today. When you play with good players you tend to play better, and she just hits the ball so well.
“I was actually a little nervous coming here because it’s the start of my season and the first tournament of the year for me. I felt kind of rusty coming through and then once I started to trust myself, the game just got better on its own.”
World number one Lydia Ko sits in second place on the leaderboard on 17-under-par having shot a round of 66 (-6) on day three.
It was an error-free day for the New Zealander, who rolled in birdies on holes five, seven, eight, nine, ten and 17.
“I actually hit the ball really well my first few holes,” said Ko, who won the Aramco Saudi Ladies International in 2021.
“I set myself for a lot of birdie opportunities within 15 feet, and it was as if I was putting a good stroke and the hole wasn’t there.
“To see my birdie putt go in on five was definitely a big sigh of relief just because you know you’re playing well, and you’re trying to stay patient, but your playing opponents are making a lot of birdies, so you’re trying to be on that same momentum.
“I was able to stay really patient and I made a string of birdies around the turn. I don’t think my long game was as good in the back nine, but I was still able to scramble my way around. It was a good birdie on 17 to end the day.”
Two players share third place with Denmark’s Emily Kristine Pedersen and India’s Aditi Ashok both on 16-under-par.
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