Ariya within striking distance at Manulife LPGA - Metro US

Ariya within striking distance at Manulife LPGA


(Reuters) – Lee Mi-hyang took a one-shot lead over Kim Hyo-joo in the third round of the Manulife LPGA Classic in Ontario on Saturday but the South Korean pair will be looking over their shoulders at Ariya Jutanugarn, who is closing in on a sixth win since May.

Thailand’s Ariya compiled eight birdies for a six-under-par round of 66 on the Whistle Bear course in Cambridge to finish the day tied for third, two strokes behind Lee, who also shot a 66 for a combined 14-under 202.

Kim carded a third-round 68.

World number one Lydia Ko is also in the hunt, four strokes behind, after a day’s best eight-birdie 64. The New Zealander predicted she would need another hot round to reel in Lee and the other frontrunners.

“I think it would need to be a low one like today,” she added.

Lee, whose sole victory on the LPGA Tour came at the Mizuno Classic in 2014, recovered from a bogey at the first to move into the lead, though she was unaware of her score until after the round.

“I made six birdies and one eagle, but I didn’t know that,” she told reporters. “So just when I checked my score at the score tent, it was a little amazing for me.”

The 23-year-old said she was unhappy with her tee shots on Saturday and would try to sort it out before the final round.

“I think my driver a little bad today, so I want to fix my driver first and then maybe keep doing my putts,” she said.

Ariya has won the last two LPGA events, the British and Canadian Opens. The 20-year-old was also in contention at the Rio Olympics last month but had to withdraw due to a knee injury.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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