Leona Maguire could not take advantage of her best ball-striking round of the week and fell eight strokes behind defending champion Jin Young Ko heading into Sunday's final round of the HSBC Women's World Championship in Singapore.
The world number 11 hit every fairway and missed just four greens at Sentosa's Tanjong Course but took 30 putts in a third successive 70 to share 14th place on six-under-par.
She birdied her first two holes but bogeyed the 11th before getting that shot back at the par-five 13th.
Chasing her 14th LPGA Tour win, world number five Ko fired a seven-under-par 65 to lead by two strokes from Nelly Korda on 14-under-par.
The former world number one birdied four of his first five holes and followed a lone bogey at the par-three seventh with further birdies at the eighth, 13th, 16th and 17th.
"I tried to focus really hard on the front nine, and I got four birdies in five holes. I felt, yeah, today is a good day, so keep going," said Ko.
"I tried (hard) on the back nine. I played well today, but I had some missed putts and some great shots but not good shoots, too. It's okay. I have one more round to go, so let's keep it up."
Korda carded her third consecutive 68 to move into second place on a day featuring a two-hour weather delay for heavy rain.
"Playing in the final group on Sunday is so much fun. To feel the adrenaline and different emotions is all so much fun," Korda said.
"Last time I think I was in the final group was in 2018 here. The fans are amazing, and yeah, just excited for tomorrow. See how it goes."
Maguire's former Duke University teammate Celine Boutier is tied for sixth alongside Sweden's Linn Grant and Japanese duo Nasa Hataoka and Ayaka Furue on nine-under and hoping demanding conditions will make it easier to close the five-shot gap on the leader.
"I definitely feel like when the weather conditions are challenging, it just makes me focus a little bit more and I'm able to stay more present," the French star said.
"I feel like I do always enjoy a bit of a challenge. I don't like when it's too easy and scoring too low. I feel like hopefully tomorrow, a little bit of wind, not too much rain, but a little bit of wind would be good."
Maguire has had two-top 10s in her first two starts on the LPGA Tour so far this season and will be looking to break 70 for the first time this week.
She will head out for the final round an hour before the leaders alongside Australia's Hannah Green and Spain's Carlota Ciganda.