Piller leads Texas Shootout, Korean juggernaut poised to pounce

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Los Angeles (AFP) - Gerina Piller shot a four-under par 67 to hold off a raft of South Korean challengers, taking a two-stroke lead after 54 holes of the LPGA Tour Texas Shootout.

Piller shot her second straight bogey-free round for a 14-under par total of 199.

Five South Koreans are among the players hot on her heels, including Amy Yang and Hur Mi-Jung -- who share second on 201.

Piller, a 31-year old American, is trying to win for the first time on the USLPGA Tour and she is aiming to do it in front of family and friends as she lives in Fort Worth, just 42 kilometres (26 miles) west of the Las Colinas course.

She grew up in Roswell, New Mexico.

"I felt like I gave myself opportunities," Piller said. "Had some great shots, just couldn't get some putts to fall. These greens are pretty tricky and they have a lot of slope to them so you definitely have to give them respect.

"But I don't feel like I kind of barely got by with eight pars. I felt like I could have been a lot lower, so definitely a lot of confidence going into tomorrow."

Yang shot a six-under 65 and Hur fired a 66 to move into a tie for second at 12-under.

Jenny Shin, with a 65, and Kim Sei-Young, with a 68, finished at 10-under and Ji Eun-Hee (71) was at nine-under, five shots back of Piller and tied with Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn (69).

China's Feng Shan-shan (65) and Scotland's Catriona Matthew (68) were tied for eighth on 206.

Piller, who is winless in 123 career starts, hasn't made a bogey since her opening hole of the week.

Poor weather disrupted the second round on Friday afternoon with all 70 players in the afternoon group still having to finish their rounds.

Piller managed to finish her second round before the storms hit, and said she just kept her head down in the third and tried to get on with the job.

"I didn't look at one leaderboard all day and I knew that if I played my game, I know I could make five or six birdies out there," she said. "You've just got to go out and hit fairways and hit greens and get it close and make putts."