Thompson bears up well, Ariya eyes No. 1

Lexi Thompson of the United States during the third round of the Manulife LPGA Classic at Whistle Bear Golf Club. She said consistency was the key to her performance as her five-under 67 gave her a one-stroke lead.
Lexi Thompson of the United States during the third round of the Manulife LPGA Classic at Whistle Bear Golf Club. She said consistency was the key to her performance as her five-under 67 gave her a one-stroke lead.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

TORONTO • Lexi Thompson closed in on her second victory of the season after firing a five-under 67 to grab a one-shot lead at the Manulife LPGA Classic in Cambridge, Ontario on Saturday.

The 22-year-old, who won last month's Kingsmill Championship in Virginia, reeled off five birdies in a flawless display at Whistle Bear Golf Club.

Her round left her with a 54-hole total of 17-under 199, one clear of fellow American Lindy Duncan, who also shot a 67 on Saturday.

A further shot back is Chun In Gee of South Korea, who remained in the hunt with a 68.

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World No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand had the day's best score after shooting a bogey-free seven-under 65 to move into contention at 14 under, three off the lead, alongside Canada's halfway co-leader Alena Sharp (70).

With top-ranked Lydia Ko of New Zealand absent from the Whistle Bear course, the LPGA website reported that Ariya's round made her rise to No. 1 today "almost a foregone conclusion".

"I didn't hit my tee shots that good, but I think my putter helped me a lot today," Ariya, who trailed Ko by just 0.01 point last Monday, told the LPGA.

Thompson completed her round with a birdie on the last but said consistency had been the key to another solid display.

"There was just more shot-making and some pins were pretty difficult to get to," said the world No. 4. "It was more just making pars and getting off the hole."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2017, with the headline 'Thompson bears up well, Ariya eyes No. 1'. Print Edition | Subscribe