Angela Stanford, seeking her sixth career victory, fired a five-under-par 67 on Friday to seize a four-stroke lead after the third round of the US$1.7 million US LPGA Lotte Championship.
The veteran US player stood on 13-under-par 203 after 54 holes, with South Korea’s Kim Hyo-joo and home-state hero Michelle Wie sharing second on 207. The US’ Cristie Kerr was a shot adrift.
Stanford had back-to-back birdies at the fourth and fifth holes in windy conditions, and added another at the seventh.
“It’s hard for everybody. You really have to be patient,” Stanford said of the wind.
Stanford, who has won five of 10 prior events when leading after 54 holes, began the back nine with a bogey, but followed with birdies on the next three holes.
“I kind of found something and for some reason I have been able to read these greens. It has been fun to watch the ball go in,” she said.
Wie finished with a bogey to miss a chance to stand alone at second. She made birdies at the third and sixth holes, and followed a bogey at the seventh with a birdie at the eighth and another at 11.
“I’m proud of the way I hit the ball,” Wie said. “I’m glad I have one more day. I just have to go out there and make a lot of birdies.”
South Koreans Inbee Park and Ryu So-yeon, and the US’ Amy Anderson shared fifth on 210, with American Katie Burnett and South Korean Chella Choi sharing eighth on 212.
Taiwan’s Yani Tseng was in joint 54th place with a total of four-under 220.