Golf: Ji Eun Hee grabs LPGA Founders Cup lead as world No. 1 Ko, Lewis charge into hunt

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - South Korea's Ji Eun Hee, seeking her first victory since the 2009 US Women's Open, fired a bogey-free seven-under 65 to seize a one-stroke lead after Saturday's third round of the LPGA Founders Cup.

But world No. 1 Lydia Ko of New Zealand, fourth-ranked American Stacy Lewis and Spain's Carlota Ciganda each fired 64s at Phoenix, Arizona, to charge into contention with the first major of the women's season just two weeks away at Rancho Mirage, California.

Ji finished on 18-under 198 after 54 holes with Lewis and South Korean 36-hole leader Kim Sei Young sharing second on 199, American Jacqui Concolino fourth on 200 and 18-year-old Seoul-born Kiwi Ko sharing fifth on 201 with Ciganda and American Paula Creamer.

Ji birdied the fifth and seventh holes, then had back-to-back birdies at No.s 9 and 10. She also sandwiched birdies at the par-three 14th and 17th holes around another at the par-five 15th.

"My putting was really good," Ji said. "My iron shots were really good, too because I was really struggling with them the last couple of weeks.

"I didn't think about that score. I just tried my best on every shot and just tried to focus on my game."