Haru Nomura extends lead at North Texas LPGA Tour event
IRVING, Texas (AP) — Haru Nomura of Japan shot a 1-over 72 on another windy day on the LPGA Tour in North Texas to extend her lead through three rounds despite a late double bogey.
Nomura was at 8-under 205 at the end of play Saturday. She was two strokes ahead of 17-year-old amateur Eun Jeong Seong (69), Cristie Kerr (70) and two-time Texas winner Inbee Park (71).
Stacy Lewis won at Texas in 2014 and had the day's best round with a bogey-free 66. Tied for 44th place after 36 holes, Lewis moved up to fifth place.
There were winds of about 20 mph and a threatening storm that created difficult conditions for the second straight day. The second-round leaders teed off nearly 3 1/2 hours earlier than scheduled for the third round, and in threesomes instead of twosomes. But play was finished without any rain, and only three players carding rounds in the 60s.
Nomura led by only one stroke going into the third round, and stretched that to four before a double bogey at the par-3 17th hole when her tee shot went over the green and into a hazard. She managed to save par at the par-5 18th after her second shot went well left, bounced hard off a concrete cart path and ricocheted way past the green.
Ariya Jutanugarn started the day a stroke off the lead and with a win this weekend would take over as the world's No. 1-ranked player. The third-ranked Jutanugarn shot 76 with six bogeys and was in a group of five players, including her sister Moriya (74), that are five strokes off the lead.
Lydia Ko, ranked No. 1 for 79 straight weeks, withdrew before the third round because of an eye infection.
RELATED: Ko withdraws
Her agent said in a statement that Ko has a swollen eye from an infection, likely caused by allergies that have been bothering her all week. A doctor advised Ko not to wear contact lenses until she got better.
The only other player that could overtake Ko at the top of the Rolex Rankings is No. 2 So Yeon Ryu, if she finishes first or second in Texas. Ryu shot a 68 on Saturday to get to 2-under 211.
After 79 players started play Saturday, there were 53 who made the secondary cut to advance to the fourth round.