Aussie aces in mix at LPGA season closer

·2-min read

Australian stars Minjee Lee and Hannah Green are in the top 10 heading in to the final round of the lucrative season ending LPGA Tour Championship in Naples, Florida.

Defending champion Sei Young Kim of South Korea took advantage of moving day to take a one-shot lead after the third round.

World No.2 Kim carded a 5-under 67 at Tiburon Golf Club to move to 13-under 203 and above countrywoman and top ranked Jin Young Ko (69), who held the lead going in to Saturday.

Britain's Georgia Hall shot 68 to be third at 10 under.

Rounding out the top five in a tie for fourth place at 9 under are Lee (66), Canada's Brooke Henderson (66), Britain's Charley Hull (66) and Americans Austin Ernst (69) and Lexi Thompson (71).

Green (71) is a shot further back in a four-way tie for eighth along with Cristie Kerr, Mina Harigae and Kiwi former world No.1 Lydia Ko.

Lee got her six-under round going late on Saturday with five consecutive birdies from the 13th to take her tally to eight for the day, mixed with two bogeys.

Green stumbled late with a double-bogey six on the par-4 18th dropping her out of the top five, although she remains in contention.

Katherine Kirk carded an even-par 72 to remain at four under in a share of 19th while Sarah Kemp (73) rounds out the Australian quartet tied for 50th.

Kim carded six birdies over her first 13 holes then seemed to level off before dropping shot to the field with a three-putt bogey on 18.

"I had (birdies at) Nos. 10 and 11, and then 13," Kim said.

"But I try to keep the same momentum, but it was tough at 13.

"So, yeah, I try to finish strong, but I had three-putt the hole 18, so I just, yeah, little disappointed with that. I just keep it up tomorrow."

Ko's bogey-free round included three birdies, at holes 3, 7 and 17, and satisfied her goal for the day.

"I just try to make a birdies, and then I said yesterday my goal is like just bogey-free round on the weekend, so I made it today," said Ko, 25, who played her way in to this week's LPGA season finale with just three starts in 2020.

"I'm looking forward to tomorrow."

There is no cut for the 72-player field, who all have an equal chance at the $1.1 million ($A1.4m) winner's prize, the largest in 2020.