CHONBURI, Thailand (AP) — Thai teenager Ariya Jutanugarn shot a 2-under 70 Saturday to lead by three strokes after the third round of the LPGA Thailand despite finishing with two bogeys.
Last year's top-ranked amateur, Ariya holed seven birdies — including five straight from No. 10 onward — for an 11-under 205 total at the Siam Country Club Pattaya Old Course. The 17-year-old Thai needed a sponsor's invite to enter the tournament as it's her first year as a pro.
"I went to the course today (under) pressure as there were so many fans coming to see me," said Ariya, 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."
Next were Stacy Lewis (76), Se Ri Pak (71) and Beatriz Recari (72), one stroke ahead of Inbee Park (71). Lewis, the third-ranked American, finished with three bogeys to lose her three-stroke lead after the second round.
"Stacy did not play her best game today and my score was not bad," said Ariya, who said she wouldn't let the pressure of being leader get to her. "I have nothing to worry about. I have the game plan and have to focus on it."
Defending champion Yani Tseng, the No. 1 player in the world, shot a 72 for a share of 24th place.