Pressel went 41 consecutive holes without a bogey on the Old Course at St. Andrews until her amazing streak ended with a bogey on the 15th hole. She dropped another shot on the 16th, but finished strong for a 1-under 71.
She was at 9-under 207, one shot clear of Stacy Lewis, who had a 69.
Inbee Park’s bid for a record fourth straight professional major in one season is all but over. Park essentially said that when walking off the 18th green with a 2-over 74, which left her nine shots behind. Asked about staging a big rally in the afternoon, she called that “almost impossible.”
Then, she made double bogey on the first hole of the final round.
The third round was suspended Saturday because of 40 mph wind gusts. Pressel was among 20 players who had to play 36 holes on Sunday. It was calm when play resumed Sunday morning, but as the final groups reached the back nine, the flags lining the Old Course were rippling as the wind gained strength.
It showed on the leaderboard.
Pressel was among four players who had a share of the lead at some point in the third round as the players jockeyed for position going into the last day.
“It’s really tough out there, especially that back nine plays really difficult,” Pressel said. “I think we saw a lot of back and forth today on the leaderboard and I’m sure more of the same will happen this afternoon. I just want to hang tough and hit good shots.”
Na Yeon Choi, who had the 36-hole lead, took two shots to get out of a pot bunker in the second fairway and made double bogey to lose the lead. She answered with three straight birdies on the front nine, only to make four bogeys in the increasing wind on the back for a 75.
Choi, who won the U.S. Women’s Open a year ago, was at 7-under 209 with Miki Saiki (74), Hee Young Park (70) and Suzann Pettersen (72).
Still in the mix was Catriona Matthew, one of two Scottish players at St. Andrews. Matthew made a birdie on the tough Road Hole 17th, which was playing more like a par 5 because of the wind. Then, she holed out from 67 yards for eagle on the closing hole for a 68. Matthew was only three shots behind.