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South Korea's Hur shares lead at Portland Classic golf

AFP
Hur Mi-Jung tees off on the 2nd hole during the third round of the LPGA Portland Classic on August 30, 2014 in Portland, Oregon
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Portland (AFP) - Hur Mi-Jung led a Korean assault on the leaderboard with a two-under 70 to grab a share of the lead after the third round of the LPGA Tour's Portland Classic.

Hur reached 11-under 205 after 54 holes on Saturday, making her the co-leader along with defending champ Suzann Pettersen (67) and Spain's Carlota Ciganda (70).

Ryu So-Yeon also shot a 70 and is tied for fourth just one stroke back of Hur as three of the top six and five of the top 13 players are from South Korea.

"I had a good round," said Hur, who is using a Portland-area caddie this week. "My short game was really great.

"I hit a lot of chip shots, because I missed a lot of greens. I think I hit only 10 greens today. My putting and chipping saved me."

Second round leader Kim In-Kyung, of South Korea, and China's Lin Xi Yu (70) are tied with Ryu for fourth. After rounds of 65 and 67, Kim struggled to a two-over 74 on Saturday.

Eight players are within two shots of the leaders, including Ryu who is seeking her second-straight victory on the Tour.

Ciganda, who is playing some of the best golf in her career this week, is competing with a heavy heart following the death of her long-time coach a few weeks ago.

Rogelio Echeverria had worked with Ciganda for the past 20 years. He passed away at age 73 as a result of an aggressive stomach cancer.

"I can't speak," Ciganda said. "He's the one who taught me everything. I am here because of him. He means everything to me. I love him, it's hard."

Echeverria would have been proud of Ciganda's impressive round Saturday which included eight birdies and a bogey.

"I just want to play for him. I would love to win for him," Ciganda said.

Pettersen has finished with a win the last five times she’s held at least a share of the 54-hole lead and will be looking to not only defend her title but post her first win of the season.

Colombia's Mariajo Uribe posted a six-under 66, vaulting her into a share of seventh place at nine-under 207. Uribe sits alongside American Laura Diaz (72), South Korea's Ji Eun-Hee (67), Austin Ernst (69), of the US, and Line Vedel (69) of Denmark.