Mon, Feb 09, 2015 - Page 19 News List

Piller clings to one-stroke lead in Bahamas Classic

AFP, PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas

Gerina Piller hits a tee shot during the Bahamas Classic at the Ocean Club course in Paradise Island, Bahamas, on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

The US’ Gerina Piller clung to a one-stroke lead when darkness halted play on Saturday during the third round of the Bahamas LPGA Classic, while a dozen rivals lurked within two strokes of the lead.

Only six of 74 players who made the cut earlier in the day managed to finish before sunset at the event, which is fighting to finish as planned yesterday in windy conditions after heavy rain washed out much of Thursday’s play.

Piller, seeking her first LPGA title, was 3-under for nine holes to stand on 10-under overall, but a pack on 9-under included Americans Lexi Thompson, Brooke Pancake and Kelly Shon, Germany’s Sandra Gal, South Korean Kim Sei-young and France’s Perrine Delacour.

“I was a little nervous on the first tee, but I felt fine,” Piller said. “[The key is] just minimize the mistakes. The wind can switch at any second, it can gust and that’s hard to deal with.”

Thompson, seeking her fourth LPGA title, made the biggest charge into contention on Saturday, making five birdies in a row to stand at 7-under in the third round with two holes remaining. She began on the back nine and made her birdie run from the 15th through first holes, feeding in part off playing partner Stacy Lewis, who was 6-under for the round.

“We probably had the best golf going on today, we had so many birdies,” Thompson said. “The first two days, we were ball striking it well, just didn’t make that many putts, but we were definitely feeding off each other, off of birdies.”

South Koreans Inbee Park, Yoo Sun-young and Park Hee-young were on 8-under, along with Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn and Americans Stacy Lewis and Brittany Lincicome.

Lewis birdied five of her first nine holes, then sandwiched birdies around a bogey at the par-3 third to stand 6-under for the round with three holes to finish.

Among Taiwanese, Min Lee and Hsu Wei-ling were tied for 32nd with four and seven holes to play respectively in the third round, while Candie Kung had a share of 39th with two holes to play.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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