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Popov takes three-shot lead into the final round of British Open

Sophia Popov of Germany plays her second shot on the 18th hole during Day Three of the AIG Women's Open 2020 at Royal Troon on August 22, 2020 in Troon, Scotland David Cannon/ R&A/ Getty Images

Germany's Sophia Popov grabbed a three-shot lead heading into the final round of the women's British Open at Royal Troon as she carded a bogey-free four-under-par 67 in the third round on Saturday.

The 27-year-old world number 304 equalled the lowest round of the week to put herself in contention for a maiden major title, posting an eagle and two birdies on another difficult scoring day.

Popov, who qualified for the Open with a top-10 finish at the Marathon Classic this month, showed great composure to sink a 30-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole as she cemented her position atop the leaderboard.

"I'm extremely happy. Four under and bogey-free is more than I could have hoped for," Popov said.

"I managed to not put myself in positions where I was freaking out. I was playing solid and that's because I was very patient.

"I'd be lying if I said I'm not going to be super nervous tomorrow morning - the nerves are going to be there so I need to realise that and play with them."

Australian Minjee Lee and Thailand's Jasmine Suwannapura are the only other two players under-par for the tournament, with both one-under overall after posting third-round scores of 69.

Two-times major champion Lydia Ko of New Zealand posted a hard-fought 72 to sit six strokes behind Popov and retain an outside chance of victory.

Overnight leader Dani Holmqvist, who was the only player to finish under-par on Friday, fell out of contention after a dismal round of 77.