Hyo Joo Kim leads by three at LPGA’s Lotte Championship; Monday qualifier Brianna Do three back

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A four-stroke lead after six holes dwindled to one but Hyo Joo Kim closed strong, rebuilding her lead back to three shots after 54 holes at the Lotte Championship.

A windy day at Hoakalei Country Club in Hawaii made things interesting for the field.

“There was a lot of wind going back and forth. I think it was difficult because it was not specifically directional,” said Kim, who started her week with a pair of 67s. “The pin position was also difficult compared to the first and second rounds. I had a hard time in that regard.”

Two golfers, Hinako Shibuno and Monday Qualifier Brianna Do, are tied for second at 7 under. The qualifier was actually Sunday due the tournament’s Wednesday-to-Saturday format. Do, who graduated from UCLA in 2012 and first earned LPGA membership in 2013, shot up the third-round leaderboard after firing a 5-under 67. She had six birdies and just one bogey in her round.

“I’ve been working to retool my swing a little bit to make it more reliable under pressure and kind of simplifying it and making more efficient. It’s kind of working,” said Do. “I had a few good weeks on the Epson Tour, and the goal was to Monday this week. I made the Monday. Then the goal was to make a check to get in the reshuffle, and I did that. And so now it’s trying to play my way into L.A. next week, just reevaluating goals as I go along.”

Do has never finished higher than 15th in an LPGA event.

Shibuno, who won the 2019 AIG Women’s Open, carded a bogey-free 68 on Friday.

Two-time tournament winner Brooke Henderson withdrew after her second round.

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