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Ryu still the one to beat in Queensland

After yesterday’s exciting eleven under round, it looked like South Korea’s So Yeon Ryu would run away with the Gold Coast RACV Australian Ladies Masters but no one told that to her main chaser, Christel Boeljon of the Netherlands.

Even though Ryu opened up a five shot lead over the Dutchwoman early in today’s round at Royal Pines, Boeljon remained patient and was able to capitalise when the normally solid South Korean blinked on nine with a bogey.

Christel Boeljon

Boeljon then applied the pressure on the back nine with two great birdies on holes 11 and 12, while Ryu’s flat stick suddenly went cold and her irons into the greens weren’t quite as radar like as yesterday.

But a late birdie on 17 gave Ryu some breathing space and after the pair birdied the par 5 18th , it was Ryu leading by three shots following a three under 69 today. She is on 20-under-par and could quite possibly give Karrie Webb’s 26 under record a shake tomorrow.

After her round she was asked what it would mean to win this tournament, she politely responded “First I really like this course and Australia, the country. So I really want to win this tournament because you know, this tournament has a really great tradition: the stand with the winner’s country flag and picture. I want to build my country flag on there, and I don’t know why, I just like this place, especially the Gold Coast, because I always spend my time here. It would be really, really, really great.”

Boeljon, playing with new clubs, shot a very impressive four under 68 and will not be intimidated when the pair play together again in the final grouping on Sunday.

Ryu’s compatriot, Ha-Neul Kim put herself in with a chance with an eagle on the 18th giving her an eight under 64 for the day. The 2011 Korean LPGA Player of the Year is five shots off the lead in a share of equal third with Italian Diana Luna, both sitting on 15-under-par.

Sydney’s Frances Bondad was the big mover of the day, leaping up the leaderboard to be in outright fifth place following a brilliant nine-under-par 63.

It is her best round as a professional, having once shot that score as an amateur.

“I’m really happy with that,” she said.

The 24-year-old is playing with renewed confidence following her win late last year on the Ladies European Tour and was surprised to see her back nine score.

“Oh wow,” she said when she saw it for the first time post round on ABC TV.

“I wasn’t really paying attention I just sort of lost count during the middle of the round. I was just enjoying myself.”

Bondad, with Ladies European Tour player Breanne Loucks on her bag, ripped the back nine apart with six birdies on her final seven holes and not surprisingly shot the round of the day at RACV Royal Pines.

Bondad is on thirteen under for the tournament, just one shot ahead of fellow Australian Nikki Campbell and South Korean Bo- Mee Lee, while England’s Felicity Johnson and America’s Amelia Lewis are one stroke further back on 11-under-par.

Teenagers, 16-year-old Lexi Thompson and 14-year-old amateur Lydia Ko didn’t play together today but are separated by just one shot.

Ko had her most consistent round of the tournament to shoot another three under 69 and finds herself tied in 16th position on eight under 208.

It is an outstanding performance from the Kiwi youngster to back up from last week, when won the Bing Lee Samsung Women’s NSW Open.

Her aim this week was to make the cut but it has now been revised to recording a top ten finish. The plucky youngster is only two shots off that goal.

After a frustrating day with the putter, Lexi Thompson posted an even par round today and sits on 7-under-par and in tied 19th place with four other players including Australians, Stacey Keating and Stephanie Na.

Italy’s Giulia Sergas and France’s Gwladys Nocera round out the top 10 places on 10-under par.

Scores after round 3 of the RACV Australian Ladies Masters being played at the par 72, 5954 Metres Royal Pines course (a- denotes amateur):

196: So Yeon Ryu (KOR) 66 61 69.

199: Christel Boeljon (NED) 66 65 68.

201: Ha-Neul Kim (KOR) 72 65 64, Diana Luna (ITA) 71 64 66.

203: Frances Bondad (AUS) 68 72 63.

204: Nikki Campbell (AUS) 67 67 70, Bo-Mee Lee (KOR) 65 69 70.

205: Felicity Johnson (ENG) 67 68 70, Amelia Lewis (USA) 71 64 70.

206: Giulia Sergas (ITA) 70 68 68, Gwladys Nocera (FRA) 69 68 69.

207: Danielle Kang (USA) 70 71 66, Lindsey Wright (AUS) 70 71 66, Wendy Doolan (AUS) 69 72 66, Bree Arthur (AUS) 70 66 71.

208: Kylie Walker (SCO) 71 71 66, Lydia Ko (am, NZL) 70 69 69, Joanna Klatten (FRA) 69 69 70.

209: Stacey Keating (AUS) 70 70 69, Sophie Gustafson (SWE) 69 70 70, Stephanie Na (AUS) 67 72 70, Caroline Masson (GER) 71 67 71, Lexi Thompson (USA) 67 70 72.

210: Stacy Lewis (USA) 70 73 67, Sarah Kemp (AUS) 68 74 68, Carlota Ciganda (ESP) 71 69 70, Sophie Giquel-Bettan (FRA) 70 69 71, Haeji Kang (KOR) 73 66 71, Maria Hernandez (ESP) 71 67 72, Pernilla Lindberg (SWE) 69 68 73, Hee Kyung Seo (KOR) 66 71 73.

211: Sarah Oh (AUS) 73 70 68, Julieta Granada (PRY) 74 69 68, Amanda Blumenherst (USA) 71 70 70, Rachel Bailey (AUS) 71 69 71, Lee-Anne Pace (RSA) 69 71 71.

212: Caroline Hedwall (SWE) 72 71 69, Karine Icher (FRA) 73 70 69, Heather Bowie Young (USA) 70 72 70, Dewi Claire Schreefel (NED) 70 71 71, Katie Futcher (USA) 71 69 72.

213: Laura Davies (ENG) 71 72 70, Ayako Uehara (JPN) 73 70 70, Lynnette Brooky (NZL) 70 72 71, Cathryn Bristow (NZL) 73 68 72, Karen Lunn (AUS) 69 72 72.

214: Jane Rah (USA) 74 69 71, Nikki Garrett (AUS) 71 71 72, Rebecca Flood (AUS) 71 70 73, Candie Kung (TWN) 71 70 73, Mariajo Uribe (COL) 71 69 74, Nontaya Srisawang (THA) 71 69 74, Beth Allen (USA) 74 65 75.

215: Marianne Skarpnord (NOR) 72 71 72, Meaghan Francella (USA) 72 70 73, Jennifer Song (USA) 70 71 74, Ju Young Park (KOR) 69 72 74, Sarah-Jane Smith (AUS) 70 71 74, Titiya Plucksataporn (THA) 72 69 74, Victoria Tanco (ARG) 71 69 75.

216: Kendall Dye (USA) 73 70 73, Su-Hyun Oh (am, AUS) 73 70 73, Courtney Massey (AUS) 68 73 75, Irene Cho (USA) 72 69 75.

217: Jennie Lee (USA) 72 71 74, Christina Kim (USA) 69 74 74, Clare Queen (SCO) 72 71 74, Becky Morgan (WAL) 72 70 75, Linda Wessberg (SWE) 70 71 76, Rebecca Codd (IRE) 73 68 76.

218: Ashleigh Simon (RSA) 72 70 76.

219: Line Vedel (DEN) 69 73 77, Virginie Lagoutte-Clement (FRA) 72 69 78.

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