Stanford cruising in Hawaii

The Sports NetworkApril 18, 2014 

Oahu, HI (SportsNetwork.com) - Angela Stanford carded a 5-under 67 on Friday and extended her lead to four strokes after three rounds of the LPGA LOTTE Championship.

Stanford, who will go for her sixth LPGA Tour title on Saturday, ended 54 holes at 13-under-par 203.

Local favorite Michelle Wie posted a 2-under 70 and was joined in second place by Hyo-Joo Kim, who shot 69 in round three. They are tied at minus-9, while Cristie Kerr (70) is one stroke back at 8-under-par 208.

Women's world No. 1 Inbee Park (72), So Yeon Ryu (72) and Amy Anderson (68) share fifth place at 6-under 210 at Ko Olina Golf Club.

Stanford, who played alongside Wie and Kerr in round three, opened with three pars in a row. Stanford birdied three of four holes from the fourth to jump to 11-under, where she was three clear of the field.

Around the turn, Stanford stumbled to a bogey on the 10th to trim her lead over Wie to one. Stanford erased that mistake with a 4-foot birdie putt on the 11th, but Wie also birdied that hole.

Stanford came right back with a birdie from eight feet out on the 12th. She chipped her third on the par-5 13th to two feet and kicked that in for a third straight birdie.

She led by three at that point. Stanford closed with five pars in a row to maintain her lead.

"I just knew it was just hard, it was hard for everybody. You really have to be patient. Just another windy day in Texas, right?" joked Stanford, who is from Texas. "I kind of found something (on the greens), and for some reason I just have really good feel on these greens and I'm seeing the breaks well. It has been a lot of fun seeing the ball go in the hole."

Wie started with a birdie on the third. After a pair of pars, she wrapped birdies at six and eight around a bogey on the seventh. She parred the ninth to make the turn at minus-9, where she was two back.

The Hawaiian matched Stanford's birdie on the 11th. Wie reeled off seven consecutive pars from the 12th. At the last, she came up well short with her approach, then chipped to 15 feet.

Wie 2-putted for a closing bogey to fall four back.

"My club just got stuck in the ground and my ball just went straight right and went nowhere, but there's really nothing you can do about that. I just left myself a really hard shot," Wie explained of her second and third shots on the 18th. "I'm proud of the way I hit the ball, but it was kind of a head scratcher kind of day. A lot of putts did not break the way I thought they were going to, but I'm glad I have one more day."

Kim, who is playing on a sponsors exemption, birdied the first, but gave that shot back when she bogeyed the par-4 third. She moved to 8-under with back-to- back birdies at five and six.

After four straight pars around the turn, Kim birdied the 11th. She got to minus-10 with a birdie on the 14th, but like Wie, Kim bogeyed the last to finish four behind.

NOTES: Stanford has won five of the 10 times she has led entering the final round. She has won three times in seven times when holding the 54-hole lead in a 72-hole event ... Wie is looking for her first win since the 2010 Canadian Women's Open, while Kim is searching for her first tour victory.

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