The World No.8 has positioned herself nicely for a championship charge after soaring into a share of second place with an impressive third round two-under-par 69.

Lee is three shots behind German World No.304 Sophia Popov, with Thailand's Jasmine Suwannapura the only other player in red numbers after a gruelling week on the famous Scottish links.

The West Austraian star could have been even closer to the lead had a series of putts not shaved the hole during her third round.

Minjee Lee drives from the 2nd tee during the third round. She is well poised to claim her maiden major title. PHOTO: Getty Images.

"A couple of them were probably out of range. A couple of them would probably have been lucky to go in but when I saw it like lip-out, I was like, oh, I wish it went in," Lee said.

"But hopefully I have a couple more chances tomorrow to get them back.

"I'm feeling pretty good. A couple shots behind at the end of the day so I feel like I can maybe play a little bit more aggressively if the wind doesn't blow as much, and maybe I can hole a couple of putts out there."


But, if she had her way, Lee would prefer tougher conditions for the championship round.

"My ideal weather, probably maybe something like the first or the second day," she said.

"I mean, I feel like a challenge is good but it's probably going to be a little less wind but, either way, I don't think my game plan is going to change."

The 24-year-old isn't the only Australian in the mix.

Germany's Sophia Popov holds a three shot lead in search of her first major win. PHOTO: Getty Images.

Queensland’s Katherine Kirk surged into a tie for 10th at three over after matching Popov's low round of the day, a four-under 67.

Kirk collected five birdies and dropped her only shot on the testing par-3 17th hole.

Hannah Green (73) is tied 33rd at seven over, while Sarah Jane Smith (72) shares 53rd place.

After briefly leading the Open on debut early on, Sydney teenage amateur Stephanie Kyriacou has faded out of contention over the past 27 holes. A third-round 78 left Kyriacou in 73rd position at 16 over for the tournament.

– Darren Walton, Australian Associated Press.