Monday September 24, 2012
Lewis ahead by three strokes, champ Thompson falters
PRATTVILLE (Alabama): American Stacy Lewis birdied four of the first five holes in firing a seven-under 65 to grab a two-stroke lead after Saturday’s third round of the US$1.3mil Navistar LPGA Classic.
World No. 3 Lewis matched the low round of the week at the Robert Trent Jones Trail course with a bogey-free day to stand on 15-under 201 after 54 holes with compatriot Angela Stanford second on 203 after a third-round 68.
Lewis opened with back-to-back birdies and added another set at the fourth and fifth holes. She closed the front nine with a birdie, added another at the par-4 11th from 15 feet and made her last at the par-3 16th.
“I made some birdies early and just kind of coasted from there,” Lewis said.
“I got off to a good start, two birdies and barely missed on three. And I hit them close. It just calmed me down and got some trust in my game.”
US rookie Lizette Salas fired a 70 to put herself in the final trio on 204 in quest of her first LPGA title.
Another stroke back were South Koreans Haeji Kang and M.J. Hur with Australian Sarah Jane Smith, South Korean Park Hee-young and US teen star Lexi Thompson sharing sixth on 205.
Defending champion Thompson, who led after the second round, stumbled to a 72. She took a bogey at the sixth, answered with a birdie at 11 but followed with a double bogey at the 12th and bogey at 13 before a final birdie at 15. — AFP
After Sunday’s final round, the Tour moves to Asia with events next month in Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan and another at Japan in November before a tournament in Mexico and the season-ending LPGA Titleholders event in Florida. — AFP