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Uehara maintains 5-stroke lead

KONAN, Kochi Pref. (Kyodo) Ayako Uehara carded a 1-under-par 71 on Saturday to maintain a five-shot lead heading into the final round of the Yokohama Tire PGR Ladies Cup.

Uehara had an up-and-down round that featured four birdies and three bogeys to finish on 9-under 135, five strokes clear of Midori Yoneyama and South Korean Hwang Ah Reum.

“The long putts went in for me today and things went as planned,” said Uehara, who closed her round with a 45-foot birdie putt on the 18th at Tosa Country Club.

“This season my main objective is to make sure I go under par,” added Uehara, who is gunning for her second career title after winning last year’s Fujisankei Ladies Classic.

Veteran Yoneyama matched the day’s low of 68 with a bogey-free round while Hwang had four birdies against a pair of bogeys in a second straight 70 to share second place.