Sun, Apr 16, 2017 - Page 10 News List

Unheralded Jang secures three-stroke lead at rain-hit Lotte Championship


South Korea’s Jang Su-yeon plays her second shot on the 10th hole in the third round of the Lotte Championship in Kapolei, Hawaii, on Friday.

Photo: AFP

Jang Su-yeon, who needed a sponsor invite to get into the event, on Friday fired a bogey-free 65 to grab a three-shot lead heading into the final round of the weather-plagued Lotte Championship.

South Korea’s Jang reached a total of 17-under 199 and is aiming to become the first sponsor’s invite to win on the LPGA Tour since New Zealand’s Lydia Ko captured the Canadian Women’s Open four years ago.

Canada’s Alena Sharp (66) and Cristie Kerr (62) of the US were tied for second at 14-under 202 in the tournament that has featured weather delays in each of the first three rounds.

Chun In-gee of South Korea fired a seven-under 65 for fourth place, while Thai star Ariya Jutanugarn is also still in the hunt after shooting a 70 to take sole possession of fifth. Ryu So-Yeon was alone in sixth after a 69.

Weather forecasters predicted more rain for yesterday’s final round, but Jang was not worried.

“I had a great feeling for my shots and putting today,” she said. “Because I had to finish up the second round this morning and playing another 18 I was a little bit tired, but I know I’m so far away from home and I traveled so long to play this tournament, so I try to tell myself just to suck if up and have a good time and play a good round today.”

Sharp is seeking her first career LPGA Tour victory. She had a chance at having second place all to herself, but made bogey on the final hole.

“I didn’t even know what I was shooting really. I was just kind of on autopilot,” Sharp said. “I was very happy with how I played.”

World No. 1 Ko fired a seven-under-par 65 with no bogeys and was seven shots adrift of Jang.

Taiwan’s Chien Pei-yun carded a three-over 75 to finish the round in a tie for 73rd, just two strokes above the cut.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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