YOKAWA, Hyogo Pref. (Kyodo) Teenager Sakura Yokomine shot an even-par 72 Saturday to cling onto the top of the leaderboard going into the final round of the Studio Alice Ladies Open tied with tour veteran Michiko Hattori.
Yokomine, who took a one-shot lead over fellow 19-year-old Ai Miyazato after the first round, held steady with two birdies and as many bogeys on her way to a 3-under 141 total on the demanding layout of Hanayashiki Golf Club on a day when only eight players broke par.
Hattori, a 17-winner on the tour, birdied three of the first four holes and went on to shoot the day’s only sub-70 score.
World Cup winner Miyazato slipped from a share of the lead with a bogey-bogey finish after missing the greens and failing to save par on the 17th and 18th holes in a round of 73.
The Okinawa native, who is bidding for her first victory in Japan this year, is tied for third along with Toshimi Kimura at 1-under 143.
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