Na Yeon Choi protects 2-shot lead at LPGA Malaysia

Na Yeon Choi protects 2-shot lead at LPGA Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – Defending champion Na-yeon Choi of South Korea maintained a two-shot lead in the LPGA Malaysia, shooting a 3-under 68 Saturday in a rain-interrupted third round.

The South Korean player had a 13-under 200 after opening with rounds of 65 and 67 at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. She birdied the first hole before play was delayed for more than four hours because of lightning and rain, and finished with four birdies and a lone bogey on the 10th hole.

Fellow South Korean Park Inbee was two shots back after putting up the day’s best score of 65, while Karrie Webb of Australia was another two shots back after a 68.

Choi won the U.S. Women’s Open in July for her first major title and sixth LPGA Tour victory.

Suzann Pettersen, the eight-time LPGA Tour champion who is winless this year, followed her tournament-record 64 on Friday with a 70 that left her five shots back in a tie for fourth with Japan’s Ai Miyazato. Pettersen was 4 under through 14 holes, then had a double-bogey on the par-3 15th and a bogey on No. 16 to fall back.

Top-ranked Yani Tseng shot a 68, her best round of the tournament, but was 18 shots back. The Taiwanese star has struggled after winning three times in the first five events of the season.

Michelle Wie shot 70 and was at 217, while fellow American Morgan Pressel had an 81 after rounds of 79 and 83.

The tournament opens the tour’s four-event Asian swing. The HanaBank Championship is next week in South Korea, followed by stops in Taiwan and Japan.

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