After her 6-under 65 on Thursday, the 2019 Greg Norman Medal winner used a run of four birdies within five holes to get 4 under 67 on Friday, joining New Zealander Lydia Ko (66) in third place out of 10 Par.
It was a tough day for Green’s Australian teammate Minjee Lee, who opened the world number 7 with consecutive bogeys, dropping three more shots at the second nine in a round of 2-over 73, in which she finished 34th in a tie fell.
The number 1 in the world rankings Nelly Korda (69) leads with three strokes over 54 holes in front of the Indian Anditi Ashok (68) in second place with 12, as the question remains whether the tournament will be completed in full.
The imminent danger of a typhoon convinced the officials to bring the tee times for the final round in the Kasumigaseki Country Club on Saturday forward by one hour to 7.30 a.m. AEST, whereby Mother Nature can now decide whether the tournament will go the full distance.
Assuming she will have a full 18 holes to upgrade the color of her Olympic medal, Green believes that repeating her game of the past two days can destroy Korda’s gold medal dreams.
“I’ll probably have to do something similar to what I’ve been doing for the past few days, especially since Nelly has been hitting for so long and there are some good opportunities for her to get in late,” said Green, who understands the pressure on the Korda went wire-to-wire to win the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship 2019.
“She’s the one under the most pressure. She has been leading the tournament for the past few days. She obviously had a great lap yesterday and it can be hard to back up, but I’m just glad I managed to get back under par and I hope to keep that momentum on another lap.
“Five or 6 under for me could possibly give me a podium, but I won’t think about it too much. I just want to try and post another good number and see what happens. “
For the second day in a row, Green finished her round with a crucial par save after hitting her tee shot into the left rough.
After her birdie flash on the first nine, Green entered the medal contest with a birdie on the 15th par-4, her birdie putt on the 16th was just inches from the hole.
A second chance to move on 11-under slipped down the right side of the hole at the short par-4 on 17th. Plan an easy one for the finals.
“I just want to play golf as boringly as possible,” said the 24-year-old.
“I want to hit every fairway and green and give myself the best opportunity to do birdie.
“My greens in Reg have increased since the first lap – I would hope so since I only hit eight on the first day.
“I looked at Nelly’s statistics and she hit almost 90 percent of the greens in the first two laps. If you can do that, you have a good chance of going deep and jumping up the leaderboard. “
Nine shots from the battle for the medal, Lee accepted the reality of their situation after a disappointing third round but will have a positive outlook in the final round on Saturday.
“Of course I’m disappointed not to be closer to the top, but I’m really having a good time,” said Lee.
“I’ll just play as well as I can. As long as I stand up for every shot and go through all of my processes, I can’t really complain.
“Nelly is way too far ahead and medal wins aren’t even on my radar so I’ll try to get some momentum next week (Ladies Scottish Open) and the British Open.”