Gemma Dryburgh one off lead as she chases first LPGA Tour win in Japan

Gemma Dryburgh heads into the final round of the TOTO Japan Classic just one shot off the lead after setting up a “big opportunity” to land a breakthrough win on the LPGA Tour on the back of a birdie blitz.

Gemma Dryburgh signs autographs for fans after completing her third round in the TOTO Japan Classic at Seta Golf Course in Shiga. Picture: Yoshimasa Nakano/Getty Images.
Gemma Dryburgh signs autographs for fans after completing her third round in the TOTO Japan Classic at Seta Golf Course in Shiga. Picture: Yoshimasa Nakano/Getty Images.

The Scottish No 1 followed opening rounds of 71-67 with a stunning seven-under-par 65 at Seta Golf Club in Shiga, where she has home player Momoko Ueda in her sights after the halfway leader cemented her position following a 68.

Dryburgh opened with two straight birdies before dropping a shot at the par-4 fourth, but she repaired that damage at the sixth then reeled off five birdies on the spin from the ninth in a blistering run.

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“Yeah, very nice,” she said of her day’s work. “I hit a lot of good shots and had a couple to a foot, so always handy to do that. Putted well, so everything was working pretty well today.”

It will be the second time that Dryburgh has been in the final group on the last day on the LPGA Tour, having eventually ended up in eighth in the 2021 Cambia Portland Classic.

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The 29-year-old Aberdonian has come on leaps and bounds since then, though, and is determined to make the most of this latest opportunity to add her name to the list of Scottish winners on the top circuit in the women’s game.

“I’m going to try and do the same that I did today as tomorrow,” added Dryburgh. “Obviously the aim is to win and it’s a big opportunity, but just go with the flow. Just do my best, and see where it ends up.”

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