Australia’s Minjee Lee has vaulted into contention for her first LPGA Tour win in almost two years, but she will have to catch a resurgent Lydia Ko, the former world No. 1, who is also on the verge of a drought-breaker.
Lee carded a third-round 68 in San Francisco with five birdies in her final eight holes today.
At eight-under, she is three shots from the lead held by New Zealander Ko, who shot a brilliant 67.
American Jessica Korda will play in the final group with Ko at 10-under, a shot back.
Lee, 21, the world No. 17, has logged five top-10 finishes already this season but has not managed a win. The last of her three LPGA Tour victories came in October, 2016 in China.
Compatriot Su Oh dipped to tied-25th after a three-over par 75 today, having shared the lead after the first round of the tournament.
The Australian pair, who were part of a winning national world amateur team a few years ago, played in the same group on Saturday.
Ko was the eyebrow-raiser on the leaderboard, rolling in six birdies on her way to a 67 that took her from three shots back at the start of the day to the outright lead when she made par at the last.
The Kiwi has not won since July, 2016, and her world ranking has dropped to No. 18 after a period of change under former swing coach David Leadbetter. But she loves this course, where she has won before. "Coming into the week, I knew no matter how I played I was going to have a great time here,'' she said later.
ON THE PGA Tour, the Australians all dropped out of contention in the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, with the pairings of Cameron Percy and Greg Chalmers along with Matt Jones and American Chad Campbell the closest in a tie for 24th.