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Shin, Ko share 3rd-round lead at Royal Canberra

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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) - Jiyai Shin of South Korea and 15-year-old amateur Lydia Ko both shot rounds of three-under 70 on Saturday to surge six shots clear of the field heading into the final day of the Women's Australian Open.

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South Korean-born, New Zealand-based Ko jumped to an early lead at Royal Canberra with birdies on the 2nd, 4th and 6th holes. She allowed Shin to retake a share of the lead with bogeys on No. 12 and 14 before making another birdie on the final hole to finish 17-under 202.

``When I was coming down the 18th I wasn't pretty happy with what happened, there were a couple more birdie opportunities that I did miss, so I said `Lydia just have a birdie down the last hole and just be happy with that hole,''' Ko said ``I guess it worked, it's quite mentally hurtful when you do make bogeys along the way after you've been playing pretty good.''

Two-time British Open winner Shin kept pace, making an eagle out of the green-side bunker on the par-5 6th, but gave up a chance of an outright lead when she had a bogey on the penultimate hole.

``I was too short to watch the eagle,'' Shin said. ``First day and second day I made a good birdie with that hole so I was thinking I had a chance to birdie, but I was surprised it was in.''

Beatriz Recari of Spain had a 71 to finish third. Top-ranked Yani Tseng also hit a 71 to finish a stroke back with a group of five players at nine under, along with overnight leader Mariajo Uribe of Colombia who shot a forgettable 79. They were joined by France's Gwladys Nocera, who was the day's best performer with a round of 65.

Stacy Lewis of the United States, the 2012 LPGA Player of the Year, is 10 strokes off the lead after a 69, while four-time tournament champion Karrie Webb also had an improved performance with a 69 to sit another stroke back and seemingly out of contention.

Ko said she was looking forward to the challenge of going head-to-head with Shin in the final round.

``I've seen her play before at the Canadian Open and then on TV,'' she said. ``She's a pretty accurate player off the tee, so in that way we could be pretty similar. She's a great player and there are things that I do need to learn from her.''

Shin said the leading pair realistically only have each other to worry about, though the low scoring of the opening three rounds mean a late challenger cannot be ruled out.

``This makes it comfortable for us because we just focus - I just focus about her score and she also just kept looking at my score,'' Shin said. ``But this course has a lot of chance to birdie, a lot of par 5s, so I'm still keep watching for other players. First day Lydia hit a 10 under, I hit an 8 under, so all players had a chance to make the lower scores.''

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
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