Jutanugarn leads Honda Thailand by three as Lewis falls out of top spot

Ariya Jutanugarn at the Honda LPGA Thailand
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Ariya Jutanugarn is trying to become the first player from Thailand to win an LPGA Tour event.
Associated Press

Series: LPGA Tour

Published: Saturday, February 23, 2013 | 9:43 a.m.

CHONBURI, Thailand -- Thai teenager Ariya Jutanugarn shot a 2-under 70 Saturday to lead by three strokes after the third round of the Honda LPGA Thailand despite finishing with two bogeys.

Last year's top-ranked amateur, Jutanugarn had seven birdies -- including five straight from No. 10 -- for an 11-under 205 total at the Siam Country Club Pattaya Old Course. The 17-year-old Thai needed a sponsor's invitation to enter the tournament in her first year as a professional.

Stacy Lewis (76), Se Ri Pak (71) and Beatriz Recari (72) followed, and Inbee Park (71) was another stroke behind. Lewis, the third-ranked American, finished with three bogeys to lose her three-stroke lead after the second round.

Jutanugarn wants to stay composed in the final round.

''I went to the course today (under) pressure as there were so many fans coming to see me,'' said Jutanugarn, who is bidding to become the first Thai player to win an LPGA tournament. ''Not only my family, but also the entire country has hopes for me. But after I heard their hands clap, it became an inspiration.''

Defending champion Yani Tseng, the No. 1 player in the world, shot a 72 for a share of 24th place.