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Wei-Ling Hsu, Moriya Jutanugarn share third-round lead at Williamsburg

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The River Course at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va., softened up just in time for moving day, and several women took advantage.

Wei-Ling Hsu of Chinese Taipei and Moriya Jutanugarn of Thailand shared the 54-hole lead at 10 under at the Pure Silk Championship after shooting 6-under 65s on Saturday. They lead American Jessica Korda by a stroke.

Before Saturday, the lowest round of the event was Hsu’s first-round 66. Five golfers beat that score in the third round alone.

Hsu, who led after 18 holes, made five straight birdies on Nos. 3-7 to make her move up the leaderboard, while Jutanugarn carded an eagle on No. 7 along with five birdies.

“We only have three par-5s in the course, so my goal this week is try to hit as many birdie (on) par-5,” Hsu said. “So starting on No. 3, yeah, just I think today little drier than past two days, so I think everything just went little further, so I was able to get really close to the green on second shot.”

Hsu said she was glad to be an inspiration for her country as it goes through a spike in COVID-19 cases.

“Definitely a little nervous and a little exciting, but also the COVID pandemic in Taiwan — we got so many new (cases) right now, so people are really nervous and the whole country almost shut down,” Hsu said.

“I don’t know what (I’m) going to end up today, but hopefully … even better performance tomorrow and hopefully I can share this good news to my family and the people in Taiwan.”

Korda, a six-time LPGA Tour winner, recorded seven birdies to counteract three bogeys and stay in the hunt.

“I think golfers are good at being comfortable and being uncomfortable,” Korda said. “With being in these positions so many times, you just kind of know what you need to stick to. Even if you’re not comfortable, you stick to the same plan. Even though you’re uncomfortable, you still have comfort in your routine.”

Australian Sarah Kemp, the 36-hole leader, and American Lizette Salas finished Saturday tied for fourth at 8 under. Salas shot up the leaderboard with a third-round, 7-under 64, while Kemp is the only player in the field to shoot in the 60s all three days.

Giulia Molinaro of Italy turned in the round of the day, an 8-under 63 with an eagle, six birdies and no bogeys. She rocketed up from 47th place into a tie for sixth at 7 under with Americans Ryann O’Toole and Lauren Stephenson.

“Like at one point I just started parring and missing putts,” Molinaro said. “But again, I played such good golf tee to green that, even though I was not making much from like 4 to 10 or 11, I still was having a really good score.

“So, I just stayed patient, and when I made eagle on 12, that was a pretty good boost forward and putts started dropping after that.”

Molinaro described her hole-out eagle on No. 12 as “3-wood, 9-iron, one hop and went in.”

Ruixin Liu of China, American Elizabeth Szokol and Wichanee Meechai of Thailand are three strokes back at 6 under, tied for ninth. World No. 3 Sei Young Kim of South Korea is part of a tie for 12th at 5 under.

–Field Level Media

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