Hataoka, Yang share lead at LPGA finale


Australian Minjee Lee has slipped five shots off the pace with one round to play at the lucrative CMR Group Tour Championship in Florida.

After starting the third round only one shot adrift of co-leaders Alison Lee and Nasa Hataoka, the Australian two-time major winner signed for a 69, leaving her tied for fifth at 16 under 200.

Hataoka (65) and Korean Amy Yang (64) share the lead at 21 under, three strokes clear of Alison Lee in the tournament which boasts a $US2 million ($A3.1 million) winner's purse.

Yang had four birdies on her final six holes, while Hataoka set the pace early with five birdies in her first 11.

They were at 21-under 195, with the scoring so low that they are already within two shots of the tournament record with one round to go.

"It does feel quite nervous being in contention, but I never thought like I have to follow the 9-under par yesterday," said Yang, who shot 63 on Friday.

"But I did try my best just to stay present, and when I decide to hit one shot and just commit to it and go for it."

Alison Lee, who came into the LPGA finale with a Ladies European Tour win and two runner-up finishes on the LPGA Tour, tried to keep pace. She managed only four birdies, three of them on the par 5s, and had to settle for a 68.

That still left her only three shots behind with so much riding on Sunday.

The 60 players who qualified for the final event of the LPGA Tour only have to win at Tiburon Golf Club to claim the $US2 million prize, matching the richest in women's golf equal to the U.S. Women's Open. Only six women have earned $US2 million or more all season.

Nelly Korda tried to stay close, making her first hole-in-one on the LPGA Tour at the par-3 eighth. But she had consecutive bogeys late on the back nine and had to settle for a 66.

That left her seven shots behind, tied with world No. 1 Lilia Vu (66), Brooke Henderson of Canada (66) and Atthaya Thitikul (69).

Hannah Green (67) was the best of the other Australians in a tie for 17th at 10 under, one shot clear of Grace Kim.

- with AAP