Ryu in the driver’s seat at Canadian Pacific Open
She’s looking to become the sixth wire-to-wire winner in tournament history and the first since Michelle Wie in 2010.
After dunking her ball in the water, Azahara Munoz later rebounded to shoot a 9-under 63 Saturday to vault into contention. Munoz had six birdies on the back nine as part of a bogey-free round, tying the course record at London Hunt and Country Club that Ryu set Thursday. The 26-year-old Spaniard felt as if she was doing “everything’’ right.
As dazzling as Munoz’s round was, she still has some work to do to catch up to Ryu, who has been consistent through three rounds with 21 birdies and just one bogey.
“I haven’t won any tournaments the past two years,’’ said the 24-year-old Ryu “I really want to break it, I really want to stop it.’’
Ryu is on pace to snap the tournament record of 18 under set by Suzann Petterson in 2009 and is within range of the LPGA Tour record of 26 under, which belongs to Annika Sorenstam.
“I think my lowest record is 29 under when I was 16 at the Asian Games,’’ Ryu said. “If I have the chance I want to break my career record, and also if I can I want to break another LPGA record.’’
Determined to focus on her own game, the South Korean said she didn’t look at the leaderboard Saturday. But Ryu already set a goal of making seven birdies in the final round.
Ryu, Munoz and Choi Na-yeon, who shot a 6-under 66, tee off as the final group at 11:45 a.m. Sunday.
Behind them on the leaderboard are LPGA Championship winner Inbee Park at 14 under, Swede Anna Nordqvist at 13 under, and Americans Brittany Lincicome and Danielle Kang at 12 under.
“It’s going to be over 20, that’s for sure,’’ Park said. “I don’t know how So-yeon is going to play tomorrow, but if she goes really low tomorrow, 25-under par’s definitely possible.’’
Choi was plenty confident about her chances given the course conditions.
“Someone can shoot 9 under, 8 under,’’ she said. “Even I could shoot like 8, 9 under tomorrow.’’
Ryu hasn’t been saving her best for the second-to-last hole, and Park knows that her friend is so locked in that rivals will have to shoot very low to beat her.
Ryu hasn’t won since the 2012 Jamie Farr Toledo Classic, but won two of the three previous times she held the 54-hole lead.
“I definitely think she’s due,’’ Park said. “If I can’t do it this time, hopefully she does it. I’m really rooting for her.’’