CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Caroline Masson of Germany shot a 4-under 68 to double her lead to two strokes after the third round at the Women’s British Open on Saturday.
The 22-year-old Masson made three birdies on the front nine and three on the back to hold off a late charge from Yani Tseng. The top-ranked Taiwenese player closed within a shot at one stage after picking up five strokes in as many holes, including an eagle.
“I was quite nervous at the start,” said Masson, who stands at 15-under 201. “I hit a poor tee shot at the first and then three-putted from 40 feet, but I settled down with a birdie at the next when I hit my 5-iron to 7 feet and holed it.
“I hit some really good shot out there today and really enjoyed it. The wind was a bit stronger and there were some tough pin positions.”
Masson birdied No. 5 with a lay-up to 10 feet and the long No. 6 with an approach to 30 feet and two putts. At No. 11, she holed a putt from 7 feet, then got up and down from a greenside bunker at the long 14th for another birdie.
Her last was at No. 17, but she dropped a shot at the next after hitting into another greenside bunker.
Masson will play the final round Sunday with Tseng, the 22-year-old prodigy who already has won four majors.
“It should be really enjoyable. Yani seems very nice and I’m sure I’ll learn a lot playing alongside her,” Masson said.
For Tseng it also will be a new experience.
“I have never seen her play,” she said.
Catriona Matthew of Scotland leads the home challenge, but she is six shots off the pace after shooting 68. Inbee Park of South Korea is also at 207 for a share of third place.
Another Korean, Na Yeon Choi, is alone in fifth with a 208 total after a 72. Brittany Lang, Sophie Gustafson and Se Re Pak share sixth place a shot further back.
The American challenge never materialized. Lang (69) rose from a share of 18th place but is one stroke worse off than at the start of the day. Paula Creamer (71) is at 6 under, and Brittany Lincicome (76) is 13 back after only being five behind overnight.
First-round leader Meena Lee, tied for second overnight, fell out of contention with an 80 to sit at 2 under.