birdied the par-5 18th hole to carve level-par 72 in the third round of the Women’s Scottish Open at the Dundonald Links in Ayrshire, Scotland Saturday.
The 21-year-old Filipino-Japanese sits on joint 48th on 3-under 213 in a tie with Stephanie Meadow (70), Carmen Alonso (72), Esther Henseleit (72), Jessica Karlsson (72), Mina Harigae (74) and Ally Ewing (74).
Despite averaging 283 yards off the tee, Saso birdied only one par-5 hole as she continued to struggle on the greens with 34 putts. She mixed three birdies with three bogeys.
Celine Boutier of France made her move with a 67 to draw level with Lydia Ko of New Zealand who carded a 71.
Both are on top of the leaderboard on 15-under, just two shots ahead of Canadian Maude-Aimee Leblanc and Leonie Harm of Germany who shot 66 and 67, respectively.
France’s Celine Boutier and New Zealand’s Lydia Ko are in a share of the lead on 15-under par.
Two-time Solheim Cup winner Boutier got off to a hot start with four birdies on her front nine.
The Frenchwoman’s only dropped shot of the day came at 12, but she soon bounced back with a birdie on 14 to reach 15-under.
“I started the front pretty solid and that helped me relax a little bit. The conditions were more windy and a little bit tougher, so it was really good to get a good start and I stayed very patient. I had a lot of opportunities and took advantage of some of them.”
World No. 4 Ko, who was the leader at the halfway stage, sandwiched a bogey between two birdies on holes two through four to make the turn in 35 (-1).
There were two more bogeys on the back nine for Ko, but she made up for it with two birdies including a lovely chip-in on 15 to draw level with Boutier.
“I think I drove it a little better than I did the last couple days,” Ko said.
“My irons were not as sharp, so I don’t think I set myself up for as many easier 15-feet and birdie opportunities.”
Leblanc fired the joint-best round of the day — a 66 (-6) along with China’s Xi Yu Lin and Scotland’s Gemma Dryburgh — to move herself into contention.