Nasa Hataoka leads US Women’s Open as she bids to win first major title

Japanese golfer Nasa Hataoka will be looking to win her first major title on Sunday as she leads the US Women’s Open at Pebble Beach.

Hataoka, a six-time LPGA Tour winner, tops the leaderboard after three rounds in California, one shot ahead of American Allisen Corpuz.

She had to master windy conditions during her bogey-free 66 on Saturday – one of only 11 players to shoot under-par in the testing weather.

“I would say that from around the seventh hole I started to feel the wind, and of course we were at the waterfront, so it was quite different,” said Hataoka of the conditions at Pebble Beach.

“Then, of course, I had some of the par saves, and so compared to my last two days, I think that from the back nine onwards I did pretty well.”

Hataoka hits from a bunker at Pebble Beach. - Darron Cummings/AP
Hataoka hits from a bunker at Pebble Beach. - Darron Cummings/AP

After birdieing the first and sixth holes in her excellent third-round performance, Hataoka produced four more birdies on the back nine – including back-to-back on the 16th and 17th holes.

The 24-year-old, a runner-up at the 2021 US Women’s Open and the 2018 Women’s PGA Championship, will likely have to hold off a challenge from Corpuz if she is to win her first major title.

The Hawaiian native bogeyed the 18th hole during her one-under 71 as she searches for her first professional win.

Behind Corpuz on four-under overall are South Korea’s Kim Hyo-joo and the USA’s Bailey Tardy, who shot 73 and 75 respectively on Saturday.

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