Women's Australian Open: Day 3 updates

5.55pm: Minjee Lee has put herself in the frame to become the first female amateur to win an Australian Open. Two pars closed out a -4 round of 68 and put her into a tie for first with Chella Choi at -13. Kiwi sensation Lydia Ko is outright second, having fired a -3 round of 69 which included an incredible 110-metre chip in for eagle on the par 5 17th. World No.2 Suzann Pettersen (-10) dropped a shot on the last hole to fall back to even for the day and outright fourth. Overnight leader Caroline Hedwall (-9) will finish in the logjam at equal 5th having gone +2 for day three.

4.50pm: Australian amateur Minjee Lee is taking advantage of the tense play by her more accomplished professional opponents. Lee has just rolled in a massive 25-foot putt to join Korean Chella Choi in the lead at -13. The 17-year-old has come alive down the back stretch, notching three birdies in her last five holes to be -4 today with two hotels to play. Overnight leader, Swede Caroline Hedwall, has slipped back to -9 and equal 5th after going +2 through 15 holes today. Day one leader Suzann Pettersen (-12) is outright second at -2 today.

4.05pm: Anna Nordqvist has not only lost her course record, it seems she has also lost her mojo. The Swede started the day -8 and tied for third after that blistering round of 66 on Friday that set the new record at Victoria off the ladies tees.

However the world No.27 suffered a blow-up on the par four 11th on Saturday, going for a triple bogey 7. Her round fell apart when, playing a ball just in front of a fairway bunker, Nordqvist's shot  smashed into the lip of the bunker and lost all distance. Now at +2 for the day, she has slipped to -6 and 29th overall - seven shots off the pace still set being set by clubhouse leader Chella Choi, the same player that stole the course record earlier today.

3.20pm: Teenage sensation Lydia Ko has flown under the radar - for her, anyway - all week, but she is positioning herself for greater focus today. With players in the final groups tensing up, Ko has made ground with three birdies in her first six holes. She is now at -11 and equal second with overnight leader Hedwall, two shots behind new leader, Korean Chella Choi (-13).

Karrie Webb (-7) has stumbled in her revival, bogeying the par 3 16th after her tee shot landed short and wide, and then her chip on rolled back off the green on the other side. She is six shots back with two holes to play.

2.50pm: New course record! Korean Chella Choi, ranked No.28 in the world, has obliterated the middle stretch of Victoria Golf Club and just kept going, posting two eagles and six birdies between holes 8 and 18.

Her long putt for eagle on the par five 18th rolled in from five metres off the green. Her -10 round of 62 has meant the new record of 64 set by tall Swedish blonde Anna Nordqvist on day three has lasted less than 24 hours.

The colourfully-dressed Choi is now the outright leader, two shots ahead of overnight pace-setter Caroline Hedwall, who is even through three holes so far.


2.00pm:
The final two groups are just teeing up, and that's where most of the action will be from now on, along with the surging Karrie Webb, and possibly Cheyenne Woods.

But a couple to watch from underneath. Kiwi sensation Lydia Ko has just birdied the first to move to -9 and tied for third.

Another one is American Jessica Korda. The fan favourite has gone -5 and -2 through first two days, and has picked up an early shot through her first four holes to put herself in the log jam of seven players at -8.

One more to cover off on is fellow Amercian Stacy Lewis. The world No.3 came into the tournament as favourite, but just hasn't got it going like she needed. She started today at -4 and has again been up and down to go even with the card through the front nine.

1.45pm: Here comes Karrie Webb. The four-time past winner of this event is showing signs of coming on, moving into the top six for the first time this week. That super-low score Webb needs is well and truly on track. She has come through with an eagle on the par-five 8th to be -4 through her first nine holes. Repeat that down the back and she will have the leaders starting to sweat.

1:31pm: Star attraction Cheyenne Woods, Tiger's niece, is off but not making the kind of waves she needs to be close going into Sunday. All pars through five holes so far.

I spoke to her after her gutsy comeback round of -7 under yesterday. She said she was bouyed by the prospect of replicating that play this afternoon.

The difference between her rounds yesterday and on day one (where she went +2) was that she made putts, with most of her eight birdies coming from long rolls, including a couple of 30-footers.

She is currently -5, which is tied for 29th.

1.25pm: The two players set to go off in the final-group power battle - leading Swede Caroline Hedwall (-11) and world No.2 Suzann  Pettersen (-10) - are on the range warming up in front a decent crowd.

The two big-bombers hit balls side-by-side, without much interaction. Hedwall cracked jokes and checked texts before she stepped up to her position.

Pettersen and her team were all business, working on her short game.

Crowds have built steadily over the first three days and healthy numbers for the first day of the weekend.

1.13pm: Another Australian amatuer, 17-year-old Su-Hyun Oh, is making a charge. The Korean-born player finished with an eagle on the par-five 18th to complete a -6 under round of 66.

Oh started the day at -1, but has quickly shot into the top 10, now at -7.

12.48pm: Queenslander Sarah Jane Smith, a stylish blonde originally from Geelong, was a story on day one after a great -4 put her right in contention.

She was left behind on day two after coming in even with the card and has been solid again today - all pars through seven holes - but hasn't been able to make up any ground.

French bolter Perrine Delacour has just finished her round, posting a -7, 65 that included an eagle and five birdies. That is the second-highest round of the event, only one off the new course record set yesterday.

Delacour is now equal 4th at -8 overall.

12.30pm: Have we all discounted Karrie Webb too soon? She looks on a mission today after the drama at last week's Ladies Masters.

Webb has added another birdie on the par-4 third hole to be -2 through three holes holes today.  She is now -6 overall, five shots behind.

There has been big scores out there every day this week. Maybe not too late for the Australian champion if she finds a -6 or -7 today.

12.22pm: There are great conditions again today, with little wind so it should be another day of low scores.

Little-known French player Perrine Delacour (-7) has been the big mover from the morning pairings. She has jumped to equal 7th with a round
of -6 through 16 holes today.

Australia legend Karrie Webb (-5) just started her round with a birdie.

American Cheyenne Woods (-5) set to tee off at 12pm.

12.05pm: The scene has been set for a fierce battle for the Women's Australian Open with overnight leader Caroline Hedwall (-11) and Suzann Pettersen (-10) fending off a large group of challengers.

The story Women's Australian Open: Day 3 updates first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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