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.
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."