Thursday, November 23, 2017
Golf

Penalty doubles Miyazato's lead

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PHOENIX — Ai Miyazato regained control in the LPGA Founders Cup on Saturday, ending up with a bigger cushion than she expected after Stacy Lewis was penalized two strokes after the round.

Making three birdies in four holes on the back nine and saving par with a 12-foot putt on No. 18, Miyazato shot her second straight 5-under 67 after opening with a tournament-record 64. At 19-under 197, she had a four-stroke lead over Lewis (68) and Jee Young Lee (72).

"It was a pretty solid round," said Miyazato, seeking her 10th LPGA Tour victory. "I didn't hit any bad shots, and I had a few chances, a few birdie chances out there, but I couldn't make it."

Lewis was penalized when it was ruled that caddie Travis Wilson tested the sand before Lewis played out of a bunker on the par-4 16th. That turned a 66 into a 68 and doubled her deficit.

"I didn't see Travis do anything when we were playing. I wasn't looking at his feet, obviously," Lewis said. "So, we looked at the video, and you have to slow it down, zoom in on his foot. He walks into the bunker, he kind of pushes, he kind of bounces his knees a little bit, and his foot turns."

The penalty made the bid of Lewis, ranked third in the world, to take over the top spot from Yani Tseng more difficult today. Coming off a victory two weeks ago in Singapore, Lewis would jump to No. 1 with a victory if Tseng — tied for 63rd at 2 under after shooting 72 — finishes third or worse.

"More than anything, I just feel bad for (Wilson) because he feels awful," Lewis said. "But he's the best caddie out here, so we'll be fine. We still have a chance to win (today), so we'll be okay."

Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse shot 74 and fell to 5 under.

Champions: David Frost maintained a one-stroke lead over Fred Couples in the Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach, Calif., eagling the final hole for 5-under 66. He was at 13-under 129 after an 18-foot eagle on the par-5 18th. Couples two-putted from 35 feet for birdie and 66.

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