Hataoka runaway leader at LPGA Classic

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Japan's Nasa Hataoka will take a six-stroke lead into the final round of the LPGA Classic in Ohio after bursting clear with a seven-under 64.

A month after losing a playoff to Yuka Saso in the US Women's Open at Olympic Club, Hataoka has led wire-to-wire at Highland Meadows to put herself in position for her fourth LPGA Tour victory.

She birdied four of the last five holes on Saturday to reach a tournament-record 19-under 194 and set up her imposing margin from Americans Elizabeth Szokol (67) and Mina Harigae (68) who were tied second.

Su Oh was the best-placed Australian in a tie for 15th - 10 behind Hataoka - after a 68.

"I think the original thinking of this course was that it was a very narrow course so it might be difficult for me," Hatoaka said.

"Then it came out to be that the narrow makes it easier to get to the target, so I think this is what was good."

The 22-year-old Japanese player opened with a 10-under 61 on Thursday and had a 69 on Friday. She has played holes Nos. 14-18 in four under each of the three days.

"I think last five holes are usually the place where you really have to concentrate and try for the birdies," Hatoaka said. "I think that kind of clicked and gave me those birdies."

Defending champion Danielle Kang (68) was 10 under in a group that included Stacy Lewis (65), Brittany Lincicome (67) and Jennifer Kupcho (69).

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