• Kyodo

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Ai Miyazato shot a 5-under-par 66 to catapult herself into a share of third place after the third round of the Michelob Ultra Open on Saturday.

Miyazato made five birdies in a bogey-free round to stand at 7-under 206. She surged from 31st on the leaderboard with solid putting to put herself within range of South Korean Lee Jee Young, who leads by four strokes at Kingsmill Resort.

The 21-year-old shares third with four others, including Paula Creamer (67), Suzann Pettersen (68), Meena Lee (68) and Carin Koch (70) at the 72-hole event.

“I had a good feel for my putting before the round started and I was hitting solid putts,” said Miyazato, who had three birdies on the front nine. “To be honest, I really wanted to get more birdies on the back nine. I’ll try to pick up at least five shots on the final day.”

Lee had a 63 to match the course record and is the sole leader at 202 while compatriot Sarah Lee is one shot behind.

Miyazato missed out on a playoff spot by one shot at the SemGroup Championship last Sunday and matched a season-high third-place finish on the LPGA Tour.

In February, she finished tied for third at the Fields Open in Hawaii in her only previous top-10 finish on the LPGA Tour this year. Her best finish on the tour is a second-place tie at the 2004 Mizuno Classic, which was co-sanctioned with the Japan LPGA.

“I want to keep the same momentum going from today. It’s up to me on the final day.” Miyazato said.

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