Shin Ji-yai shot a five-under 67 to extend her lead to four strokes at the Wegmans LPGA on Saturday.
The South Korean star, seeking her fifth tour win in 11 months, moved to 16-under 200 after three rounds at the Locust Hill course in suburban Rochester.
“On the front nine, I lost my confidence,” Shin, 21, said of a slow start. “I tried eating. Eat some bread on No. 10 and then I made birdie.”
Morgan Pressel, a two-time winner whose season-best finish was a tie for seventh in April, shot a 70 and was in second place at 12-under. That was one better than rookie Stacy Lewis, who also shot 70.
Taiwan’s Yani Tseng was another player carding 70, leaving her tied for 21st place on four-under.
Cheyenne Woods, the niece of Tiger Woods, missed the cut by four strokes in her professional golf debut. Woods and 70 other players completed their second rounds early on Saturday after play was interrupted by thunderstorms on Friday. Defending champion Ji Eun-hee could manage only a 71 and crashed out with a seven-over total.
Last year, Shin became the first non-US LPGA member to win three events. A multiple winner on the Korean Tour, she reeled in the women’s British Open last August, then followed with late-season wins at the Mizuno Classic and ADT Championship. In March, she captured the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore for her first victory as a US LPGA Tour member.
Shin rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt on the first, but she failed to reach the par-four sixth in two and missed a six-foot par putt for her only bogey.
After failing to hit a succession of greens in regulation, Shin made amends by chipping in from the rough on the 10th and left her approach shot close for another birdie on the next hole. She curled in a birdie from seven feet on 14, another from four feet on 16 and her sixth from five feet on the par-five 17th.
Pressel sank a 15-foot birdie putt on eight to get a brief share of the lead.
“Being in second spot is never a bad spot unless it’s the end of the tournament, so I still have a chance,” Pressel said.
Lewis lipped out from inside two feet on three holes, before chipping in for eagle on the 11th from 39 yards.
First-round leader Sandra Gal of Germany (69) was tied for fourth at 10-under with Lindsey Wright (67) of Australia, who recorded a career-best second place at the US LPGA Championship two weeks ago. South Korea’s Yoo Sun-young (69) was in sixth.
South Korean rookie Kang Hae-ji shot 65, the day’s best, to get to eight-under. Michelle Wie fell out of contention with a 75.
The 18-year-old Woods, who competed on a sponsor exemption, finished at five-over 149 — four strokes above the cut.
“I could have made a couple more birdies — or not as many bogeys — but I’m happy,” she said. “Three more years at Wake Forest [University] and then hopefully I’ll be back out here.”