ROGERS, United States (AFP) – South Korea’s Ryu So-Yeon fired a tournament record 10-under 61 Saturday to vault into a five-shot lead heading into the final round of the North West Arkansas Championship.
The 26-year-old world number three, who missed the cut in her last LPGA Tour outing, finished off her brilliant round with consecutive bogeys to reach a two round total of 16-under 126.
Ryu has not played since the ShopRight Classic two weeks ago where she missed her first cut in three years. She said the break allowed her to clear her mind.
“I played really well at the beginning of this year, then I didn’t really play well at the last championship,’’ she said. “I lost confidence a little bit.
“But I think it was great to have two weeks off, because when you have two weeks off you totally forget about how you played the last few tournaments.’’
Ryu, who is bidding for her second USLPGA title this year and fourth of her career, also established the 36-hole record at the tournament.
She finished with 10 to take a comfortable lead over Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn and American Stacy Lewis at Pinnacle Country Club.
“It was so much fun,’’ Ryu said of her round. ‘’I made a really long putt at eight, 17, and then I boost up and the shot was getting better and better.
“At the back nine, I was able to make some more short birdies, and then pretty much made all of them. So happy with my round today.’’
Both Jutanugarn and Lewis each followed their opening-round 66s with seven birdies against one bogey to finish with a 65 on Saturday. Lewis capped her round with back-to-back birdies at the par-three 17th and par-five 18th.
South Korean’s Amy Yang shot a 65 to sit in fourth place at 10-under, one stroke ahead of the four-way contingent of countrywoman Park In-Bee (65), Australian Lee Min-Jee (65), Indian Aditi Ashok (64) and Norwegian Suzann Pettersen (66).
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