(The Sports Xchange) – Japan’s Haru Nomura maintained her lead through three rounds of the LPGA Texas Shootout despite a late stumble on Saturday in Irving, Texas.
Nomura double-bogeyed the par-three 17th en route to a one-over 72 in windy conditions at Las Colinas Country Club.
She is at eight-under 205 and owns a two-shot lead entering Sunday’s final round.
American Cristie Kerr (70), one of six players to break par Saturday, is in a three-way tie for second with South Koreans Park In-bee (71) and amateur Seong Eun-Jeong (69).
American Stacy Lewis surged into contention with a 66, the best round of the day. She is alone in fifth place and the only other player within three shots of the lead.
Nomura, who led by one shot after 36 holes, said she was not bothered by the blustery conditions despite the late wobble at the 17th.
“Windy (is) easy,” said Nomura, a two-time winner on the LPGA Tour last year. “I like windy and tough conditions, from fairway to green. I love it.”
Kerr, who won in Hawaii two weeks ago, was happy with her round that included three birdies and a pair of bogeys.
“God I played really hard today,” Kerr said. “It would have been nice to make a few more putts but standing on the first tee, anything under par you would have taken it. It was a really difficult day.”
Seong will be trying to join an elite bunch as she plays in the final pairing with Nomura. Only four amateurs have won on the LPGA Tour, with world No. 1 Lydia Ko the last to do so in 2013.
“I thought just even par is just so good, but I started birdie-birdie, which is why I played very easy today,” Seong said. “I feel good.”
Ko withdrew from the tournament Saturday morning due to an eye infection. She was one-over through her first two rounds.
(Editing by Andrew Both)