Ariya Jutanugarn Set to Win Another Title

Ariya Jutanugarn hits from the ninth tee during the third round of the LPGA Kingsmill Championship golf tournament Saturday in Williamsburg, Va. Photo: Aileen Devlin / The Daily Press / Associated Press

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — Ariya Jutanugarn moved into position for her second straight LPGA Tour victory Saturday, shooting a bogey-free 6-under 65 to take the third-round lead in the rain-soaked Kingsmill Championship.

The 20-year-old Ariya, a Bangkok native, had three birdies in a four-hole stretch on the front nine on the soggy River Course and birdied three of the last six. She's coming off a victory two weeks ago in Alabama that made her the first Thai winner in LPGA Tour history.

"Normally, if I'm tied for the lead or one shot behind, I get a little bit excited," Ariya said. "But today I'm not. I just keep playing my game and have fun and enjoy it with every shot."

Ariya had a 10-under 203 total.


"I think tomorrow is going to be so much fun because rain, play with the weather, and tough conditions," Ariya said. "Just have fun, enjoy, because I just want to do my best. Like whatever happens, I really want to have fun because right now, everything is good for me.

Second-round leader So Yeon Ryu bogeyed the final hole for a 69 to drop a stroke back along with fellow South Korean player In Gee Chun and Thailand's Pornanong Phatlum.

"I was almost going to play a bogey-free round and I made a bogey at the last hole," said Ryu, ranked 11th in the world but sixth in the race for the four spots on South Korea's Olympic team. "I was pretty disappointed. But yeah, I hit a bad tee shot. The left side is really, really stiff. … But the rest of the day my playing was pretty great. I'm happy with that.

Chun birdied her final six holes for a 62 to tie the course record set by Jiyai Shin in 2012. The U.S. Women's Open champion is eighth in the world and fourth in the South Korean Olympic race.

"I just focused on my shots," Chun said. "I did not feel well this morning because of the weather and because I have allergies. It's really bad. I did not feel good. And it was a lot of windy today, so I did not play with high expectations."

Phatlum shot a 65.

"This week I tried to like focus on my swing and concentrate on putting," Phatlum said. "So, make me more confident and don't think about the result, just play my game."

Defending champion Minjee Lee was 8 under after a 68. The 19-year-old Australian won last year at Kingsmill in a Monday finish and added her second tour title last month in Hawaii.

Laetitia Beck (66) and sixth-ranked Amy Yang (69) also were 8 under. Beck is the first Israeli player to qualify for the LPGA Tour.

Fourth-ranked Stacy Lewis, a stroke behind Ryu after a second-round 66, had a 70 to fall into a tie for eighth at 8 under. Lewis tied for second two weeks ago in Alabama for her 10th runner-up finish in a 49-event drought. The 11-time tour winner has 23 career second-place finishes.


Third-ranked Lexi Thompson had a 67 to move into a tie for 18th at 5 under. She's coming off a victory two weeks ago on the Japan LPGA.

Top-ranked Lydia Ko was tied for 24th at 4 under after a 68. The 19-year-old New Zealander won the Kia Classic and major ANA Inspiration in consecutive weeks in Southern California.

Story: Associated Press