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Henderson keeps lead

REGINA, Canada (AFP) – Canada’s Brooke Henderson birdied three con­secutive back-nine holes and clung to a one-stroke lead over Japan’s Nasa Hataoka and American Angel Yin after Saturday’s third round of the LPGA Ca­nadian Open.

Henderson, trying to become only the second Canadian to win her home­land event after Jocelyne Bourassa in 1973, fired a two-under par 70 to stand on 14-under 202 after 54 holes at Wascana Country Club.

After answering a bogey at the fifth with a birdie on the next hole, 20-year-old Henderson ran off birdies at the par-5 12th and 14th holes sandwiched around another at the par-4 13th.

It was enough of a cushion to keep Henderson on top as she and her nearest rivals stummbled on the final holes.

Henderson sank a clutch 20-foot par putt at 16 but missed a two-footer for par at the par-5 17th, trimming her lead to a single stroke.

Japanese 19-year-old Hataoka, who began the back nine with five birdies in seven holes, missed a five-foot par putt at 18 to settle for a 69 to stand on 203 with Yin, who could have led.

Yin, with a bogey and double bo­gey in the first three holes, birdied the first three par-5 holes and had an eagle chance from eight feet at 17 before lipping out twice and set­tling for par.

Yin stumbled again at 18, missing a six-foot birdie putt at the last to again settle for par and remain with Hataoka one adrift of Henderson.

Defending champion Park Sung-hyun of South Korea was fourth on 204, one stroke ahead of Australian Su Oh and American Austin Ernst.

New Zealand’s Lydia Ko was in a pack on 206 with Aussie Minjee Lee, South Korean Amy Yang and Ameri­cans Mariah Stackhouse and Jennifer Song.