(The Sports Xchange) - American Stacy Lewis continued her sizzling play and will take a three-shot lead into the final round of the LPGA Cambia Portland Classic in Portland, Oregon.
Lewis rode a flurry of early birdies to take control of the tournament en route to shooting a seven-under-par 65 in Saturday’s third round.
She is at 17-under 199, three clear of Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn.
Seeking her first victory since 2014, Lewis is planning on donating her winnings from the event to the relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey.
She moved to Houston as a youngster and her husband is the women’s golf coach at the University of Houston.
“I’ve been motivated for one, but I’ve just been extremely calm,” said Lewis.
“Anybody who has seen me play knows that’s not normally me. There has just been a calmness about me this week. I haven’t worried about anything and just played really solid.”
Lewis surged into a three-way tie atop the leaderboard with a bogey-free 64 on Friday and continued her blistering play in the third round with birdies on five of the first eight holes.
A runner-up in Portland a year ago, Lewis put her in prime position to end the victory drought.
“I know it’s been a while since I won. Everybody talks about it,” said Lewis.
Jutanugarn matched the fast start by Lewis, also registering birdies on five of the first eight holes in her round of 66. The LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 2013 and sister of world number three Ariya Jutanugarn, she is seeking her first career victory.
“I was feeling great,” said Jutanugarn. “You know, I have been hitting solid and (gave) myself a lot of really good chances for birdie. Make some, miss some, but it’s still pretty solid round.”
Chun In-gee of South Korea, who started the day in a three-way tie for the lead, had three birdies and 15 pars for a three-under 69 that left her four shots off the pace.
“I had a lot of solid shots on the course. Much better than yesterday,” said Chun. “I think putter was good, too ... I want to try keep (stay) patient tomorrow.”
Canadian teenager Brooke Henderson, who opened with a pair of 67s to share the second-round lead, faltered Saturday. She bogeyed two of the first three holes and had a double bogey on the ninth to shoot 74 and fall nine shots off the lead.