Feng of China shoots 67, takes ShopRite LPGA lead
GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, New Jersey (AP)
China's Shanshan Feng beat the wind on Saturday to take the lead and now has a good chance of beating everyone else in the ShopRite LPGA Classic.
Feng, who last year became the first Chinese player to win an LPGA Tour title and a major event in capturing the LPGA Championship, shot a marvelous 4-under 67 before the wind picked up and grabbed a three-shot lead heading into the final round.
The round matched the day's best and gave the eighth-ranked Feng a 6-under 136 total.
''Right now I'm in good position this week, and if I can have some good results this week, it's definitely going to give me more confidence for next week,'' said Feng, referring to her defense of the LPGA championship.
The wind was mild in the morning when Feng played and then gusted in the afternoon, leaving players second-guessing club selection and battling inconsistent greens, some of which dried out and didn't hold shots and others that were strangely receptive.
The cut of 6 over was the highest on tour this season.
Feng had little trouble in stark contrast to most of the field. Eighteen players broke par with only one doing it in the afternoon when Stacy Lewis, first-round co-leaders Moriya Jutanugarn of Thailand and Amanda Blumenherst, and Michelle Wie all played.
Moriya, the tour's leading rookie, hot a 73 to share second place with Haeji Kang of South Korea, who had a 69.
Kang jumped from 12th to a tie for second, and Chie Arimura (67) of Japan and Anna Nordqvist (68) made big moves to finish in a tie for fourth at 2 under.
Wie was tied for sixth with Karrie Webb, Hee Young Park and Karine Icher and first-round co-leader Amanda Blumenherst, who finished with a double bogey for a 75 after losing a ball on her last hole.
Wie, looking for her first LPGA win in the United States, rolled in four straight birdies on her back nine and was 4 under until a double bogey, bogey finish for a 73 that dropped her to 1 under.
''It was really tough out there,'' said Wie, who hit a couple of shots into the tall grass. ''I just got a little bit unlucky on the last hole. I know I played well today, so just got to go out there and just do the same thing tomorrow.''
Second-ranked Lewis shot a 9-over 80, matching her worst round since the third round of U.S. Women's Open last year. She fell from third to a tie for 50th.