With one day ahead in Busan, Korea, four-time KLPGA winner Hee Jeong Lim leads the BMW Ladies Championship by four strokes at -18 after a third-round 65. Lim’s 198 sets the tournament’s 54-hole record, besting the mark set last year by Somi Lee and Seung Yeon Lee (203). She remains the only player to go bogey-free through the first three rounds of the BMW Ladies Championship, an accomplishment that surprised even Lim.
“I think recently there was an event where I had one bogey-free round. But three consecutive bogey-free rounds I think is a first time for me,” said Lim.
Lim recorded seven birdies, including one on No. 11. It was the site of her first missed fairway of the week, which she said she didn’t automatically realize the significance. She still found a way to add one stroke to her lead.
“I wasn’t necessarily aware of the fact that that was the first fairway that I missed during this event. But I’m not really used to missing the fairway. I usually keep the fairway pretty well,” said Lim. “So being in the rough itself was a bit awkward I would have to say.”
Joining Lim in the final grouping is World No. 2 Jin Young Ko and KLPGA winner Na Rin An at -14. Ko followed up her 8-under 64 on Friday with her second bogey-free round of the week, 67, after posting five birdies. A top-10 finish would secure her the Leaders Top 10 competition, as it would be her 11th result through 17 events. A win would make her projected World No. 1 over American Nelly Korda, though she said she’s not trying to look too far past Sunday’s round.
“I think I have to stay in the present, not try to worry to much about the future. And I think that if I can do that and if I have a little bit of luck, I can perhaps go even lower than 64,” said Ko, who now has posted 20 rounds in the 60s through her last 24.
An closed with a birdie, which she said helps set the mindset as she chases the lead in her second-ever LPGA Tour appearance. “I think definitely having that nice finish does ease the pressure a little. And like you said, I’m in the position where I’m really trying to catch up to the lead,” said An. “And I think that that pressure is actually going to be beneficial for me tomorrow, and I think that I’ll be really able to enjoy the position that I am in tomorrow.”
Hae Ran Ryu and major champion Danielle Kang are tied for fourth at -13. Ryu recorded eight birdies through the first 14 holes, but her round was derailed by a double-bogey on No. 15 after a missed tee shot, and a three-putt bogey on her closing hole.
“I think that I have to get over the final hole today. I did have a good round, but that final hole, that final three-putt is still kind of weighing on me,” said “So I think for me to stay in contention, I have to get over that final hole and try to start afresh tomorrow.”
Minjee Lee and In Gee Chun are six shots back of leader Lim at -12 in a tie for sixth, with Alison Lee and Moriya Jutanugarn are in a tie for eighth at -11. Da Yeon Lee and Hee Young Park round out those at T10 and above at -10. Han Sol Ji, currently T18, tied the 18-hole scoring record with a 64 on Saturday to finish at -7. Defending champion Ha Na Jang posted a 5-under 67 for her lowest round of the week and is tied for 30th at -6.