05 Nov 2022 | Amateur golf |

Bennett chasing lead pack at Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific

by Dane Heverin

Kelsey Bennett.

Kelsey Bennett's blistering start to the third round came unstuck on a single hole, but she managed to move closer to the lead with a second consecutive even par round of 72 at the Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific at Siam Country Club in Thailand.

Bennett, last year's runner-up, is three shots back from the leading quartet of local's Natthakritta Vongtaveelap and Suvichaya Vinijchaitham, Chinese Taipei's Ting-Hsuan Huang and the Republic of Korea's Jiyoo Lim at five-under par after beginning Saturday four shots behind.

The St. Michael's Golf Club member, who hails from Mollymook on the New South Wales south coast, made an early move to erase that margin with birdies at the second, fourth and sixth holes. However, she made a triple bogey at the eighth to halt her wave of momentum.

"Most definitely good to get off to a good start, but, yeah, just lost it in the middle there," Bennett said. "Then I felt like I kept my cool for the back nine; just nothing dropped again.

"(The triple bogey) I just got a bit of a flier out of that rough and it went straight rather than cutting. The hill just dug in. I thought it flew straight into the bush and my caddie went, no, it's just over the bunker, but then we got up there and we see it was no good.

"Then I think I was a bit flustered after that and just after the chip, yeah, didn't read that second putt very well. But these things happen."

Bennett parred her way home after the triple bogey and her ability to hang tough was crucial to keeping her chances of winning the title and securing starts in majors at the AIG Women's Open and the Emundi Evian Championship, as well as the Augusta National Women's Amateur, alive.

She believes that her hopes rely on turning her fortunes around on the greens on Sunday.

"I've got the game; they're (putts) just not dropping," Bennett said. "If we just stick to what we did today and do it again tomorrow and they drop, never know what will happen."

Justice Bosio worked her way up the leaderboard into a tie for 12th with her two-under par round of 70.

The Golf Australia Women's Order of Merit winner is three-under for the tournament and bookended her third round in opposing fashion as she began the day with back-to-back bogeys before closing out her round with two straight birdies.

Caitlin Peirce also shot a 70 for the equal best Australian round of the day.

The Karrie Webb scholarship recipient made four birdies to move into a tie for 30th at two-over alongside Golf Australia Girls' Order of Merit winner Sarah Hammett.

Hammett slipped back with a three-over par round, while Kirsten Rudgeley and Maddison Hinson-Tolchard are a further shot back.

Rudgeley, also a Karrie Webb scholarship recipient, produced an even-par round of the second straight day as fellow West Australian Hinson-Tolchard shot two-over.

Sunday's final round is live on Fox Sports 505 from 5pm-7pm AEDT.


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