NAPLES — Na Yeon Choi overcame a careless three-putt on the third hole and was steady the rest of a blustery Saturday, shooting 3-under 69 for a one-shot lead over Ayi Miyazato after three rounds of the LPGA Tour's season-ending Titleholders.
At stake for Choi, at 12-under 204, is a chance to win for the second time this year — she won the U.S. Women's Open — and collect a big check, which could come in handy. Before returning home to South Korea, she will shop for a new house in Orlando on Monday, most likely in the Isleworth neighborhood.
"I need a good result (today)," she said, laughing.
Miyazato, the second-round leader, shot 3 over on the front nine but rallied with four birdies on the back nine to salvage a 71.
Rookie of the year So Yeon Ryu (68) was at 10 under, and Seminole's Brittany Lincicome (70) was tied with Karine Icher at 9 under. Lincicome continued to struggle with back problems that began early in the week.
"It's okay. (Saturday) was better. Still, the first couple holes … my lower body wouldn't let me follow through," said Lincicome, who bogeyed Nos. 2 and 3, her only bogeys of the round. "So hopefully (I'll) ice it and get it worked on one more time, and hopefully it will be better for (today)."
Lincicome on Saturday received a tour performance award for longest driving average this year, 275.2 yards. She received a car from Kia, a 2013 Optima Limited
Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse (72) was 3 under, Tampa resident Kristy McPherson (77) 13 over.
hong kong open: Miguel Angel Jimenez shot 2-under 68 to share the third-round lead with Michael Campbell (69) at 10-under 200 in the event sanctioned by the European and Asian tours. Matteo Manassero (64) and Lian-wei Zhang (69) were 9 under.
australian masters: Defending champion Ian Poulter shot 8-under 64 to take a one-stroke lead over Adam Scott (67) at 13-under 203 after three rounds of the PGA Australasia event in Melbourne. Matthew Guyatt (75), the leader after each of the first two rounds, was six strokes behind in third.
mcilroy to cut back: Rory McIlroy said he'll cut back his schedule next year after missing the cut at the Hong Kong Open, where he was the defending champion. It was the second time this year he missed the cut defending a title. The other was at June's U.S. Open. "I now look back over the last couple of years wondering why did I stretch myself so much," said McIlroy, 23. Counting next weekend's European Tour closing event, McIlroy will have played in 24 tournaments this season as well as the Ryder Cup and two exhibitions. Last year he competed in 22 European and PGA tour events, the Grand Slam of Golf, the World Cup, the Korean Open and the China Golf Challenge.