Brooke Henderson shot a 6-under 66 on Friday to help Canada retain a two-stroke lead after the third round of the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship.
The 16-year-old Henderson, the low amateur at the U.S. Women’s Open and the U.S. Women’s Amateur runner-up, had a bogey-free round on Karuizawa 72 Golf East’s Oshitate Course. She topped the individual standings at 15 under.
“I’m really excited for tomorrow and to be in the position that we’re in at such a beautiful golf course in beautiful Japan,” said Henderson, No. 2 in the world amateur ranking. “I’m just really excited and enjoying the moment.”
Brittany Marchand added a 69 to give Canada, trying to win the Espirito Santo Trophy for the first time, a three-day total of 23-under 409. Augusta James had a 72, with only the top two scores each day counting in the team total.
“We had some super-solid play out there,” Canadian captain Liz Hoffman said. “But we left a few shots out there. We were focused and had a strong start.”
Two-time defending champion South Korea was second. Hye-Jin Choi had a 66 at Oshitate, Gyeol Park added a 68, and So-Young Lee shot 70.
“We tried hard and we putted better today and our irons were very good,” captain Se-Hoon Chang said. “It will be really interesting tomorrow. This event has such good players. We hope to defend the trophy, but you never know.”
The United States was tied for sixth at 14 under. Allison Lee and Emma Talley shot 68 at Oshitate, and U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Kristen Gillman had a 70.
“I just made some putts today. I still hit the ball well but today I made some putts. That’s golf,” said Talley, the 2013 Women’s Amateur champion. “It’s obvious we have to go low and finish strong. If we don’t, at least we made a good run at it.”
England’s Bronte Law was two strokes back in the individual standings. She had a 67 at Oshitate.
The top teams will play the Iriyama Course in the final round Saturday.