South Korea's Hur sharing first place in Portland Classic
AFP Monday, September 1, 2014, 12:03 am TWN
PORTLAND, Oregon -- Hur Mi-Jung led a Korean assault on the leaderboard Saturday with a two-under 70 to grab a share of the lead after the third round of the LPGA Tour's Portland Classic.
Hur reached 11-under 205 after 54 holes making her the co-leader along with defending champ Suzann Pettersen (67) and Spain's Carlota Ciganda (70).
Ryu So-Yeon also shot a 70 and is tied for fourth just one stroke back of Hur as three of the top six and five of the top 13 players are from South Korea.
"I had a good round," said Hur, who is using a Portland-area caddie this week. "My short game was really great.
"I hit a lot of chip shots, because I missed a lot of greens. I think I hit only 10 greens today. My putting and chipping saved me."
Second round leader Kim In-Kyung, of South Korea, and China's Lin Xi Yu (70) are tied with Ryu for fourth. After rounds of 65 and 67, Kim struggled to a two-over 74 on Saturday.
Eight players are within two shots of the leaders, including Ryu who is seeking her second-straight victory on the Tour.
Ciganda, who is playing some of the best golf in her career this week, is competing with a heavy heart following the death of her long-time coach a few weeks ago.
Rogelio Echeverria had worked with Ciganda for the past 20 years. He passed away at age 73 as a result of an aggressive stomach cancer.
"I can't speak," Ciganda said. "He's the one who taught me everything. I am here because of him. He means everything to me. I love him, it's hard."
Echeverria would have been proud of Ciganda's impressive round Saturday which included eight birdies and a bogey.
"I just want to play for him. I would love to win for him," Ciganda said.
Pettersen has finished with a win the last five times she's held at least a share of the 54-hole lead and will be looking to not only defend her title but post her first win of the season.
Colombia's Mariajo Uribe posted a six-under 66, vaulting her into a share of seventh place at nine-under 207. Uribe sits alongside American Laura Diaz (72), South Korea's Ji Eun-Hee (67), Austin Ernst (69), of the U.S., and Line Vedel (69) of Denmark.
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