Akane Iijima went off on moving day at the Ricoh Cup. She opened with a pair of birdies, then fired a trio just before finishing the front, where she shot a 31. Another pair of birdies early on the back got her to -7 on the day, where she ended up, thanks to her lone bogey on the par-4 15th, which she offset with her last birdie of the day on the par-4 17th.
Iijima's 65 vaulted her to -8 for the tournament, putting her 3 shots up on Mayu Hattori, who had eagled the par-5 9th for a 32 on the front, but had to settle for a 68 in the end when she nullified her 2 birdies on the back with 2 bogeys. Also shooting a 68 today was 2-time winner in '09 Bo-Bae Song, thanks to 5 birdies in her last 13 holes. She moved into a tie for 3rd with Shinobu Moromizato (70), who opened up a 1-shot lead on Sakura Yokomine (73) and a 2-shot lead on Chie Arimura (71) in the race for the money-list title. Leader in the previous 2 rounds Momoko Ueda struggled to a birdieless 75, dropping her into a tie at -2 with fellow LPGA standout Ai Miyazato, who bounced back from a slow start with 2 straight late birdies to salvage a 71.
Here's how everyone stands heading into the final round:
1st/-8 Akane Iijima (74-69-65)
2nd/-5 Mayu Hattori (75-68-68)
T3/-4 Bo-Bae Song (73-71-68), Shinobu Moromizato (73-69-70)
T5/-3 Ji-Hee Lee (72-70-71), Miho Koga (71-71-71), Sakura Yokomine (69-71-73)
T8/-2 Miki Saiki (74-71-69), Ai Miyazato (74-69-71), Chie Arimura (73-70-71), Eun-A Lim (70-73-71), Yukari Baba (72-68-74), Momoko Ueda (69-70-75)
14th/E Mi-Jeong Jeon (72-70-74)
15th/+1 Nikki Campbell (73-73-71)
16th/+3 Ayako Uehara (72-75-72)
17th/+6 Ah-Reum Hwang (72-76-74)
18th/+7 Akiko Fukushima (76-74-73)
T19/+8 Yuko Saitoh (77-72-75), Tamie Durdin (72-75-77)
21st/+9 Rui Kitada (76-72-77)
22nd/+10 Erina Hara (70-80-76)
23rd/+12 Yuri Fudoh (78-77-73)
Yokomine must have been feeling the pressure early on. She bogeyed the par-4 4th and doubled the par-3 5th before righting the ship with birdies on 8, 15, and 17. Arimura got off to an even worse start, bogeying 4 holes in a row from the 2nd through 5th, but she played bogey-free golf from then on, with birdies on 9, 13, 15, 17, and 18. We'll see how everyone handles the pressure tomorrow!
[Update 1 (1:42 am): Meanwhile, on the JGTO, Ryo Ishikawa shot his 3rd-straight round in the 60s to catch 2nd-round leaders Shigeki Maruyama and defending champion Koumei Oda at -14 at the Casio World Open. Ai-sama's brothers slipped to -9 and -7; like her, they'll need to make quite a charge tomorrow to play the spoiler!]