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Hwang finishes round strong, takes Yamaha Ladies lead

FUKUROI, Shizuoka Pref. (Kyodo) South Korea’s Hwang Ah Reum wielded a hot putter on the back nine to card a 5-under-par 67 and take a one-shot lead heading into the final round of the Yamaha Ladies Open on Saturday.

Hwang, joint runnerup at last month’s rain-shortened Yokohama Tire PGR Ladies Cup, made a wobbly start with a bogey on the opening hole at Katsuragi Golf Club.

But the 21-year-old from Seoul rebounded by picking up her first shot of the day on the fourth before carving up the back nine with five birdies through her last eight holes for a total of 4-under 140.

Erina Hara shot a 68 and shared second place with Mie Nakata, who highlighted her round of 70 with an eagle on the 18th.

Jeon Mi Jeong also enjoyed an eagle on the 16th en-route to a 69 for fourth place and fellow South Korean Lee Ji Woo shot a 71 and was another shot back in fifth.