Date: June 11, 2017
Author: Mark Hayes

Lee, Smith in hectic frame

Australia will launch a strong two-pronged attack on the last day of the LPGA Tour's Manulife Classic after Minjee Lee and Sarah Jane Smith fired in Canada today.

In a closing round with countless permutations for the world rankings, red-hot leader Lexi Thompson will also take over at the top of the tour's season-long Race to the CME Globe if she salutes in Cambridge, Ontario.

Thompson added a five-under-par 67 to her opening 67-65 salvo to lead fellow American Lindy Duncan by a stroke at 17 under through three rounds.

But the two Aussies remain among 12 players within six of Thompson after another day of hot scoring.

Lee added four birdies against one bogey in a 69 to follow her opening 68-66, yet lost a little ground comparatively to sit T6 at 13 under.

But the increasingly consistent Smith was even more impressive, ramming home six birdies in her final 10 holes to join the party at 11 under.

With long-standing world No.1 Lydia Ko and world No.3 So Yeon Ryu both absent, No.2 Ariya Jutanugarn's sparkling 65 has her tied fourth and likely to assume the top rung.

But No.4 Thompson is also closing quickly after her controversial runner-up finish at the ANA Inspiration was followed by victory in the Kingsmill Championship.