Lee maintains share of lead in North Texas

 

The Sports Network

Irving, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Meena Lee carded a 1-under 70 on Saturday as she maintained a share of the lead at the North Texas LPGA Shootout.

Lee was joined at 9-under-par 204 by Texas native Stacy Lewis, who shot a 2- under 69 during her third round at Las Colinas Country Club.

Lewis is an eight-time winner on the LPGA Tour, while Lee has two career wins.

"I like that I'm tied for the lead and I'm not satisfied with today's round," said Lewis. "That's what I like the most is that I think I'm going to come out tomorrow, just kind of with a little bit more of something to prove instead of worrying about things. And you know, I got to go take care of myself tomorrow. That's the most important thing with the stacked leaderboard."

Suzann Pettersen, Julieta Granada and Dori Carter all carded a 3-under 68 to share third place at 8-under 205, while Jennifer Johnson (65), Kim Kaufman (68), Thidapa Suwannapura (68), Jenny Shin (68), Cristie Kerr (69), Christina Kim (70) and Natalie Gulbis are tied for sixth at minus-7.

Caroline Masson, who shared the second-round lead with Lee, tripped to a 4- over 75 during her third round to fall into a tie for 18th place at 4-under 209.

Masson and Lee entered the day sharing the lead at 8-under, but Masson quickly fell behind with a bogey at the first.

Gulbis briefly met Lee atop the leaderboard with a birdie at the second before Lee converted a birdie at the third to reclaim sole possession of first place. Lee then bogeyed the fourth to fall back into a tie with Gulbis at 8-under.

Masson atoned from her earlier mistake with back-to-back birdies at the fourth and fifth to jump into the lead at 9-under, but Lee responded with consecutive gains at the sixth and seventh to reclaim a 1-stroke advantage at minus-10.

After Masson fell out of contention with a triple-bogey 7 at the eighth to hand Lee a 2-stroke lead and leave Granada, Kim and Lewis tied for second place, Kim broke from the pack with a birdie at the 10th to reach 9-under and pull within a shot of Lee.

But Kim gave that shot right back with a bogey at the 11th to fall into a tie with Gulbis and Lewis. Granada had bogeyed the 10th to drop to minus-7.

Pettersen joined the group at 8-under with her fourth birdie of the day at the 13th before Lewis reached 9-under with a birdie at the 12th.

Lewis had earlier started her day with sixth straight pars before rolling in a birdie at the seventh. A bogey at the ninth dropped her back to 7-under, but she got that stroke back with a birdie at the 10th prior to claiming second place with her gain at the 12th.

Lewis would par her final six holes to end at 9-under, and she was handed a share of the lead when Lee tripped to a bogey at the 14th.

"It was a bit frustrating," Lewis said about closing her round with six straight pars. "I hit the ball really, really good today and gave myself a lot of chances, but I hit a lot of good putts. You know, some days they go in and some days they don't. But I really like going into tomorrow how windy it's going to be, how solid my ball striking was, and it's going to be a shootout tomorrow."

Lee parred her final four holes to remain tied with Lewis heading into the final round.

NOTES: Lewis has converted five of eight career third-round leads into victories ... Lee holds the 54-hole lead for the first time in her career ... The tournament had a second cut Saturday at even-par 213, with 51 players advancing to the final round.

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