Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist roared to the top of the women’s British Open leaderboard with a faultless seven-under-par 65 at a murky and damp Carnoustie on Saturday.
Two-time major champion Nordqvist’s sizzling third round featuring seven birdies and no dropped shots jumped her 22 places up the leaderboard where she is tied on nine under with Denmark’s Nanna Madsen, who carded an impressive four-under 68.
Behind the two Scandinavians is a packed field with 12 players three shots or less behind the leaders.
American Lizette Salas was on her own at eight under after a two-under 70, but her compatriot Yealimi Noh blew her chance of going into the final day as leader after dropping four shots in the testing last three holes for a one-under 71, leaving her three shots off the pace.
Amateur Louise Duncan, one of the few players braving the cool temperatures in a pair of shorts, was also in contention as she continued to impress with a superb 68 to sit at seven under.
World number one Nelly Korda is still in the hunt after her round of 70 left her on six under, the same as Britain’s Georgia Hall who had a disappointing 73 having shared the halfway lead.
Joint overnight leader Mina Harigae had a day to forget as she carded a four-over 76 to drop down to tied 27th.
Nordqvist, 34, looked at home on the Carnoustie course and said her game was coming together at the perfect time.
“I feel like the last few weeks have been solid. I just haven’t made as many putts or scored as well as I played,” she said. “My caddie just told me to keep patient.
“In links golf you test your patience and I feel like I’ve had a great attitude this week. You just never know when your hard work is going to pay off. You’ve got to keep plugging along and putting yourself in positions, and all I can do tomorrow is go out there and try to shoot the best round that I can.”
By Martyn Herman