PHOENIX (AP) — Ai Miyazato pulled back in front in the LPGA Founders Cup on Saturday, making three birdies in a four-hole stretch on the back nine and saving par with a long putt on the par-4 finishing hole.
The diminutive Japanese star shot her second straight 5-under 67 after opening with a tournament-record 64. At 19-under 197, she had a two-stroke lead over Stacy Lewis.
Miyazato was as graceful and efficient as ever, making it impossible to tell that she’s returning from a whiplash injury sustained three weeks ago in a five-vehicle crash in Thailand.
Lewis birdied the last hole for a 66 in cooler conditions on the cactus-lined course. After two days in the low-90s, it only reached the mid-80s on Saturday at Desert Ridge’s Wildfire layout.
The third-ranked Lewis, coming off a victory two weeks ago in Singapore, is in position to take the top spot in the world from Yani Tseng with a win Sunday, as long as Tseng — tied for 63rd at 2 under after a 72 — finishes third or worse.