LPGA: Munoz shoots 63, trails Ryu by 4 at Canadian Women's Open
Azahara Munoz hits her tee shot on the 9th hole during the third round of the LPGA Canadian Pacific Women's Open.
Dave Sandford / Getty Images North America
After dunking her ball in the water, Azahara Munoz later rebounded to shoot a 9-under 63 Saturday to vault into contention at the Canadian Pacific Women's Open.
She's tied with Na Yeon Choi in second place, four strokes behind So Yeon Ryu, who leads at 20 under going into the final round.
"The key of my round was on (hole No.) 4, I was going for it in two with a 4-iron and I hit in the water," Munoz said. "But I kept it calm, I knew I could still make up and down for par, so I did, and after that everything just went my way."
Except, perhaps, for Ryu, who didn't drift back to the pack by shooting a 67. She's looking to become the sixth wire-to-wire winner in this tournament's history and the first since Michelle Wie in 2010.
Munoz had six birdies on the back nine as part of a bogey-free round, tying the course record at London Hunt and Country Club that Ryu set Thursday. The 26-year-old Spainard felt as if she was doing "everything" right.
"I was driving the ball really well, and I was hitting really good iron shots into the greens," Munoz said. "I had so many chances. And then I made lots of putts, too -- I made a couple really long ones and quite a few shorter ones."
As dazzling as Munoz's round was, she still has some work to do to catch up to Ryu, who has been consistent through three rounds with 21 birdies and just one bogey.
Choi set the tone for the low-scoring weekend with an 8-under 64 Thursday morning. After seeing that, Park wondered if it would take 20 under to win the tournament.
Given the way Ryu has been driving, chipping and putting, that turned out to be a conservative estimate.
"It's going to be over 20, that's for sure," Park said. "I don't know how So Yeon is going to play tomorrow, but if she goes really low tomorrow, 25-under par's definitely possible."
Choi was plenty confident about her chances given the course conditions.
"Someone can shoot 9 under, 8 under," she said. "Even I could shoot like 8, 9 under tomorrow."
Munoz showed that was possible Saturday, even with more difficult pin placements for the 87 players who made the cut.
Her only real glance at the leaderboard was Thursday when she saw Choi's 64 before she even teed off, but that didn't make her task feel any more daunting.
"It's actually good because you have that number in mind, you know it's possible," Munoz said. "So at least you go out there thinking you can make lots of birdies."
Ryu hasn't been saving her best for the second-to-last hole, and Park knows that her friend is so locked in that rivals will have to shoot very low to beat her.
Ryu hasn't won since the 2012 Jamie Farr Toledo Classic, but won two of the three previous times she held the 54-hole lead.
"I definitely think she's due," Park said. "I think she was due a long time ago, but she probably threw her opportunities away. If I can't do it this time, hopefully she does it. I'm really rooting for her."