Yang leads LPGA Championship by one

Amy Yang tees off on the fourth hole during the third round of the LPGA Tour Championship at Grand...

Amy Yang tees off on the fourth hole during the third round of the LPGA Tour Championship at Grand Cypress Resort in Orlando, Florida on December 4, 2010. (SCOTT A. MILLER/Reuters)

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, Last Updated: 7:51 PM ET

ORLANDO - Amy Yang birdied the final two holes Saturday to take a one-stroke lead after three rounds of the season-ending LPGA Tour Championship.

Yang posted a one-over 73 to complete 54 holes at six-under-par 210.

Maria Hjorth managed a one-under 71 in the third round and is alone in second at minus-five.

World No. 3 Cristie Kerr posted a one-under 71 to move into a share of third at three-under-par 213. She was joined there by Seon-Hwa Lee, who shot 73 Saturday.

Slow play in the first round pushed the completion of that round into Friday, which in turn pushed the finish of the second round into Saturday. There was also a frost delay Saturday, but the third round ended before darkness set in at Grand Cypress.

There was also a secondary cut with just the low 30 and ties moving on to the final round.

With this being the final event of the season, there is quite a bit at stake.

The Player of the Year race, Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average, money title and year-end No. 1 in the world rankings are all on the line with several players in the mix for the accolades.

Jiyai Shin, Na Yeon Choi, Kerr, Yani Tseng, Suzann Pettersen and Ai Miyazato are in the running for various awards and a couple didn't make it to the final round.

Kerr has a chance to claim both the Vare Trophy and the top spot in the world rankings with a win on Sunday.

Choi shot one-over 73, but moved up two places into a share of ninth at plus- one. She was guaranteed the money title when Shin missed the second cut.

Pettersen posted her third straight 73 and is tied for 16th at plus-three.

Tseng made the second cut on the number at plus-six after a two-over 74. Like Shin, Miyazato missed the second cut as she finished at plus-seven despite posting a 71 Saturday.

But, with all of the year-end hardware at stake, there is still a tournament to win this week and the 21-year-old Yang has a trio of multiple winners on her heels.

Yang led by three at the start of the round, but that lead was gone after two holes. Hjorth made birdie on the first before Yang faltered to a double-bogey on No. 2 to forge a two-way tie at minus-five.

Hjorth birdied the third to take the lead at minus-six. Both Hjorth and Yang bogeyed the par-four seventh. Hjorth dropped another stroke on the ninth to create a three-way tie for the lead with Yang and Lee at minus-four.

Around the turn, Hjorth reclaimed the top spot with back-to-back birdies from the 11th. Yang also birdied the 12th and was one back with six holes to go.

Hjorth dropped a shot on the 14th, but Yang tripped to a bogey on 15 and was again one back. Hjorth closed with four straight pars as Yang caught fire.

"It was a very solid round. I'm very happy with the way I played," Hjorth said. "A few bogeys, but everybody makes bogeys out on this course, so you just have to get on with it and try to find a birdie somewhere."

Yang converted a birdie chance on the 17th and made it two in a row as she birdied the 18th for the second straight day to finish the round with a one- shot lead.

"I couldn't really control my game today. I was just off somewhere," Yang admitted. "I just tried to do things safely, like hit the fairways and the greens, I couldn't even do that. It was so tough. It was a tough day."

NOTES: Shin and Miyazato headlined the group of 31 players who missed the second cut. Also in the group were Paula Creamer, 2009 champion Anna Nordqvist and Stacy Lewis.


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