Stacy Lewis had to share the lead with Na Yeon Choi at the HSBC Women’s Champions after the South Korean birdied the 18th hole in a rain-delayed third round yesterday.
Choi shot a five-under 67 to go level with the 28-year-old American on 14-under 202. Lewis, the overnight leader and reigning LPGA Player of the Year, had a round of 69. Paula Creamer, who injured her shoulder in a car accident after a tournament in Thailand last weekend, shot 69 to move into third place at 12 under.
Four golfers were in a group three strokes behind Creamer – American Danielle Kang (70), Spaniard Azahara Munoz (72), South Korean Sun Young Yoo (72) and Thai 17-year-old Ariya Jutanugarn (72). Scotland’s Catriona Matthew was four shots further back on 211 after shooting a level-par 72 in the third round.
Lewis and Choi were in the last group on the course and had just teed off on the 18th when a thunderstorm rolled in, causing play to be suspended for nearly two hours. Lewis was up a stroke when they left the course, but when they returned, Choi hit a 10-foot birdie putt to pull even.
n A four-way tie at the top of the leaderboard has set up a thrilling final round of South Africa’s Tshwane Open. South Africans Darren Fichardt, Charl Coetzee and Dawie van der Walt will start today’s fourth round level on 16 under with Chilean Mark Tullo after an extended Saturday that saw 53 players complete their second round in the early morning. There was another rain interruption that kept the players off the Copperleaf Golf and Country Estate course at Centurion for two hours before the final threesome completed their third rounds in fading light.
Fichardt birdied the last three holes for an eight-under-par 64 to take his share of the lead.
Scots Peter Whiteford and Scott Henry are among 12 players tied in 27th place on eight under, while countryman Marc Warren is near the tail end of the field on level par.