SINGAPORE – Juli Inkster and Ai Miyazato shot 3-under 69s on Saturday to share the third-round lead in the HSBC Women’s Champions.
The 49-year-old Inkster is trying to become the oldest winner in LPGA Tour history. Beth Daniel was 46 when she won the 2003 Canadian Women’s Open.
“I’d say right now I’m definitely the underdog,” said Inkster, who won the last of her 31 tour titles in 2006. “I don’t think anybody expects me to win.”
Miyazato, the 24-year-old Japanese star who won the season-opener last week in Thailand, moved into a tie with a 30-foot eagle putt on the 16th hole.
“It was a really long putt, but I got a really good stroke and did a down-slope putt, and it was in,” Miyazato said.
Inkster and Miyazato had 7-under 209 totals.
Momoko Ueda (68), Sun Young Yoo (71), Hee Young Park (69) and Hee-won Han (71) were two shots back, and Cristie Kerr (71) and Suzann Pettersen (72) were 4 under.
Michelle Wie (69) was five strokes back along with defending champion Jiyai Shin (72) and Karrie Webb (72).
Angela Stanford, tied for the second-round lead, had a triple bogey on the 11th. She birdied two of her last three holes for a 74 to stay in contention at 3 under.
Top-ranked Lorena Ochoa – who stumbled to a 79 in the second round – shot a 73, leaving her 11 strokes back.
Miyazato said she’s looking forward to playing with Inkster in the final round.
“Juli is like my idol,” Miyazato said. “I feel honored to play with her.”