US Women's Open: Nasa Hataoka eyes first major after third-round 66 | Charley Hull keeps faint hopes alive

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Nasa Hataoka carded a seven-under 66 to take the lead in the penultimate round of the US Women’s Open at Pebble Beach; England’s Charley Hull tied seventh on level par; Watch the final round on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Mix from 8pm.

Japan’s Nasa Hataoka overcame windy conditions to produce a bogey-free round of 66 at the US Women’s Open and close in on her first major championship.

Hataoka has suffered defeat at two majors – including the US Women’s Open in 2021 – but she goes into the final round at Pebble Beach a shot clear of Allisen Corpuz after posting the lowest score of the tournament so far.

None of Hataoka’s rivals were able to break 70 in the third round, with Corpuz dropping a shot behind her following a bogey on the final hole.

Second-round leader Bailey Tardy and South Korea’s Hyo Joo Kim go into the final round two shots back, with another Korean duo – Jiyai Shin and Hae Ran Ryu – the only others to finish under par, a further two behind.

Hataoka's round of 66 was the lowest of the tournament so far

Referencing her 2021 disappointment, Hataoka said: “I still have this very last day to look forward to. Although circumstances may be different, I think some of the elements are still the same as they were versus two years ago.

“In other words, I have to go on all of those 18 holes, discuss with my caddie and work out what’s the best for me, and enjoy my day tomorrow.”

England’s Charley Hull maintained her faint hopes after moving under par with two birdies on the front nine, but she dropped two shots before a birdie on the last brought her home in 71.

Hull is tied for seventh on level par with American Angel Yin, seven strokes off the lead and one ahead of a group including rookie sensation Rose Zhang – who won on her professional debut earlier this season – and former world No 1 Minjee Lee from Australia.

Hull said: “I struggle to concentrate on the golf course sometimes, so taking it all in, looking at the views, is helping a lot. I’m really enjoying it out there.

“On this golf course, anything can happen. I like it when it’s tough – when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. That’s what my dad always used to say to me.

Ireland’s Leona Maguire slipped back to two over as she included two double bogeys in a 75, with England’s Bronte Law tied for 14th place, a shot further back after her round of 72.

Irish amateur Aine Donegan fired a third round 75 after a nine on the eighth derailed three early birdies, but remained just inside the top 20 on four over.

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