Feng takes 54-hole lead at U.S. Women’s Open


Shanshan Feng looks at the green on the third hole during the third round of the U.S. Women’s Open golf tournament at Trump National Golf Club-New Jersey. Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

BEDMINSTER, New Jersey – Shanshan Feng snapped a run of 23 consecutive pars with a birdie at the 18th hole to reclaim a one-stroke lead after Saturday’s third round at the U.S. Women’s Open at Trump National Golf Club.

Feng, trying to complete a wire-to-wire victory, was caught late in the round by South Koreans Amy Yang and 17-year-old amateur Choi Hye-jin, but the 27-year-old Chinese stuck an approach at the par-five finishing hole to three feet and made the putt to happily end the par streak.

The birdie gave Olympic bronze medalist Feng a one-under 71 for a 54-hole total of nine-under 207, one shot better than Yang and Choi, who both shot 70 among a wave of Korean challengers.

Yang, a top-four finisher in the last three Women’s Opens, rolled in a 20-foot left-to-right birdie curler at the 17th, while number two ranked amateur Choi sank a long birdie putt at the par-three 16th.

Feng, who has just one bogey in the tournament, could not buy a birdie in the ideal conditions until the last, failing to convert earlier birdie chances from 10 feet and twice from 12 feet in the closing holes.

Long-hitting Park Sung-hyun of South Korea was three shots back after tearing up the closing nine with six birdies for a 67.

Three other Koreans, world number one Ryu So-yeon (71), Lee Mi-rim (67) and Lee Jeong-eun (73), were another stroke back at five-under.

Former champion Cristie Kerr shot 70 to stand as the leading American player at four under par, a total she shared with Spain’s Carlota Ciganda (72).

(Reporting by Larry Fine; Editing by Andrew Both)

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