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LPGA: Teen Jutanugarn holds 3-shot lead as Lewis falters

The SportsXchange

Teenager Ariya Jutanugarn continued to take advantage of her local knowledge of the Pattaya Old Course at Siam Country Club, shooting a 2-under round of 70 Saturday to take a three shot lead into the final round of the Honda LPGA Thailand.

Jutanugarn, a 17-year-old Thailand native playing on a sponsor's invite, carded seven birdies in the third round. Her lead could have been even larger if not for three bogeys and a double bogey, but she reeled off five consecutive birdies to open the back nine and build her lead.

"I did feel a lot of pressure early on," Jutanugarn, who grew up about an hour and a half from the course, said of playing in front of a home crowd. "I felt the whole Thai people hope was on my back. After a few holes people starting to cheers me up, and that made all the pressure gone away."

Stacy Lewis, who held a three-shot lead after each of the first two rounds, struggled to a third-round score of 76 and is in a three-way tie for second place at 8-under.

Inbee Park is another shot back at 7-under.

If Jutanugarn is able to hold on for the victory Sunday, she will become the third-youngest winner in LPGA history at the age of 17 years, three months and one day.

Lewis, who tied her career-low round with a 63 on Thursday and followed it up with a 69 on Friday, carded six bogeys and just two birdies in the third round, struggling in the breezy conditions.

"She did not play well today," Jutanugarn said.

World No. 2 Na Yeon Choi handled the conditions well, shooting a 5-under 67. Two-time defending champion and world No. 1 Yani Tseng shot an even-par 72 and sits 11 shots back in a tie for 24th.
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