China’s Shanshan Feng beat the wind on Saturday to take the lead and now has a good chance of beating everyone else in the ShopRite LPGA Classic.
Feng, who last year became the first Chinese player to win an LPGA Tour title and a major event in capturing the LPGA Championship, shot a marvelous four-under 67 before the wind picked up and grabbed a three-shot lead heading into the final round.
The round matched the day’s best and gave the eighth-ranked Feng a six-under 136 total.
The wind was mild in the morning when Feng played and then gusted in the afternoon, leaving players second-guessing club selection and battling inconsistent greens, some of which dried out and did not hold shots and others that were strangely receptive.
The cut of six-over was the highest on tour this season.
Feng had little trouble, in stark contrast to most of the field. Eighteen players broke par, with only one doing it in the afternoon, when Stacy Lewis, first-round co-leaders Moriya Jutanugarn of Thailand and Amanda Blumenherst and Michelle Wie all played.
Moriya, the tour’s leading rookie, hot a 73 to share second place with Haeji Kang of South Korea, who had a 69. Kang jumped from 12th to a tie for second, and Chie Arimura (67) of Japan and Anna Nordqvist (68) made big moves to finish in a tie for fourth at two-under.
Wie was tied for sixth with Karrie Webb, Park Hee-young and Karine Icher and first-round co-leader Amanda Blumenherst.
Taiwan’s Yani Tseng was tied for 15th after shooting a 69 for a total of one-over 143, while Amy Hung missed the cut.
Additional reporting by staff writer